About the Book:
One woman’s search for happiness.
Allegra Bird’s arms are scattered with freckles, a gift from her beloved father. But despite her nickname, Freckles has never been able to join all the dots. So when a stranger tells her that everyone is the average of the five people they spend the most time with, it opens up something deep inside.
The trouble is, Freckles doesn’t know if she has five people. And if not, what does that say about her? She’s left her unconventional father and her friends behind for a bold new life in Dublin, but she’s still an outsider.
Now, in a quest to understand, she must find not one but five people who shape her – and who will determine her future.
Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from modern Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and of growing into your own skin.
Released 1st September 2021
This was an absolute gem of a novel. I’ve always enjoyed Cecelia Ahern’s novels, so I was expecting a good read but even taking that into consideration, I was still surprised by how much I loved this novel. Meet Allegra Bird, twenty-three years old, working in Dublin as a parking warden. She lives in a flat above a gym in the backyard of a power couple’s mansion, gets her breakfast from the same bakery each day, eats the same packed lunch on the same bench each day, and walks the same beat each day. And for the past fortnight, she has also been giving the same person multiple parking fines each day. Enter Tristan, YouTube entrepreneur. When he catches Allegra issuing him with yet another fine after a fortnight of multiple fines each day, he loses his temper, tears the ticket up in her face and says to her:
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’
And more specifically, that her five people must be losers because that’s what she is. This gets into Allegra’s head, and she can’t shake it out. Not his aggression, or the tearing up of the ticket, not even him calling her a loser, but the concept that she is the average of the five people she spends the most time with. Because she doesn’t know if she has five people. And thus begins Allegra’s mission to get her five.
Allegra is a character I really enjoyed spending time with. She takes her job incredibly seriously, cares deeply for her father and his well-being; she’s witty and intelligent, and despite thinking that she’s no good at reading people, she gets it right more often than not. But she has a gap inside of her and a burning urgency to fill it and she does so with empty encounters and meaningless associations. On her quest to find her five, Allegra neglects to recognise that her five are right in front of her and she eventually realises that people can be more than you give them credit for while others, no matter how much you wish otherwise, can be far less.
This novel is funny and sad in equal parts but ultimately uplifting and life affirming. It’s exactly the sort of fiction that many of us are seeking right now and I recommend it wholeheartedly. A few of Cecelia Ahern’s novels have been made into movies and I’d love to see this one adapted. It has a quality about it that would translate perfectly to the screen. If you’re looking for “ALL THE FEELS” from your reading presently, you won’t go wrong with Freckles.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.