Irish author Cecelia Ahern adds to her impressive back catalogue of engaging, successful chick-lit with her ninth novel, One Hundred Names.
Set in Dublin, it is the tale of Kitty Logan, an overly ambitious journalist trying to repair her wrecked career.
When her editor and mentor Constance dies from cancer, Kitty is tasked with finishing her last story as a tribute, but all Constance leaves is a list of 100 mysterious names.
The ensuing quest to find these people and puzzle out their link is the trunk of the novel but Ahern throws in gentle criticism of modern journalism and public backlash through Kitty’s personal life to develop a rounded story.
Taken separately, many of the narrative tropes are cliche, particularly the likeable best friend/ex-lover Steve, and there is plenty of humour and heartbreak, but Ahern avoids cloying sentimentality by focusing on character, just as Kitty learns to do.