There are certain authors I really love, and Cecelia Ahern is definitely one of them. The only book of hers I’ve yet to read is How to Fall in Love. For some odd reason my library doesn’t carry it, but I’ll keep checking back. I hadn’t heard of it until a reader left a comment on my previous post about Ahern’s The Time of My Life.
Whenever I hear about a book by an author I enjoy, I immediately log-in to my library account and put the book on hold. I did just that when I learned of her book One Hundred Names.
I binge-read One Hundred Names—meaning I read it for hours at a time over a few days. Definitely an easy read! I was engaged the whole time wondering where the story was going to lead to. The gist of the story is this: Kitty, a journalist, loses her best friend and mentor to cancer, so she makes it her mission to write her friend’s last story, as a way to honor her.
The only material Kitty has to work with is a list of one hundred names left behind by her friend. No other details or explanation. Kitty has little time to write the story for publication, so she hits the ground running. She also has something to prove because she messed up big time on her last story, so writing this story is not only personal, but could also be what saves her career.
Kitty takes the list of names and starts trying to locate the individuals. No small task, for sure! She begins meeting with each person to figure out what exactly her friend was trying to do with these one hundred people. What type of story she was trying to create.
I kept reading, reading, reading, until the moral of this story was finally revealed. I was kind of scratching my head the whole time wondering where this book was leading, but what unravels is a truly inspiring story.
I don’t think that we, as individuals, take the time to recognize that every single person in this world has a story. We’re often so consumed with our own lives that we don’t take the time to truly listen to what others have to say. How many times have you passed someone in the hallway or on the street and said hi, how are you, but you never actually heard their response?
When I first finished the book, I wasn’t sure I really liked it. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this book taught me a lot.
Now for a quote from the book:
Every single ordinary person has an extraordinary story. We might all think that we are unremarkable, that our lives are boring, just because we aren’t doing ground-breaking things or making headlines or winning awards. But the truth is we all do something that is fascinating, that is brave, that is something we should be proud of. Everyday people do things that are not celebrated.
For me, I started out my career as a Case Manager in homeless services, which means I’ve met with hundreds of homeless individuals. You know what? They all have a story and they’re not much different from you or me. How powerful it is to truly hear someone out and learn that they also have something wonderful to offer.
You see, it pays to listen.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. –Plato