Review: To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell

to-the-moon-and-backTo the Moon and Back
by Jill Mansell
Series: None
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published by Sourcebook Landmarks, 2011
E-book, purchased
446 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she’s ready for a new start – at work, that is. She doesn’t need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company…

Zack McLaren seems to have it all, but the girl he can’t stop thinking about won’t give him a second glance. If only she’d pay him the same attention she lavishes on his dog.

Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill…

Over dinner, another businessman’s wife asked Ellie if she could recommend a good Botox doctor in Harley Street.

Ellie said, “Sorry, I’ve never had Botox.”

The wife, whose name was Kara, said, “Oh my God, why not?”

“I’m twenty-nine.”

“Jesus, you’re leaving it late! I started when I was twenty!” Kara, who had a face like a boa constrictor, leaned forward and flared her nostrils with difficulty. “By the time I was your age I’d had six procedures . . . eyes, ears, plus a full face-lift!”

“And you had your knees done,” her husband chimed in. “What is it you always say? Nothing worse than a woman with pudgy knees.”


  • I really like the characters in this book. At first I wasn’t too sure about Roo, but she turned out to be a good friend to Ellie. She makes some bad choices, but she’s a colorful character.
  • I thought the author did a good job showing the denial and grief and unhappiness which happens when someone we love dies.
  • I like the humor Ms. Mansell puts in her books. It makes them fun to read even when the book starts with the death of a spouse.
  • I read lots of books which are in a series and I like that, but sometimes it’s nice to read a book with no sequel. We get a slice of the characters’ lives and can imagine them continuing on through the years. This works well for me when the people are happy by the end of the book!
  • This is a great summer read. The first part is sad, but I like the way Ellie is eventually able to start living her life again. And the book is fun to read. I kept reading wanting to know what happens next.
  • I like the way the author shows that life isn’t always tidy. All the people in this book have problems with relationships. They all manage to learn and grow from their experiences.
  • I like the romances in the story.


  • Not a genre I want to read all the time.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is the second book I’ve read by Ms. Mansell and I enjoyed both. I want to read more of them.
  • A nice change from what I usually read.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Jill Mansell lives with her family in Bristol. She used to work in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology but now writes full-time. She’s published 26 books so far.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog