P.S. I Love You
by Cecelia Ahern
A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again.
Now in paperback, the endearing novel that captured readers’ hearts and introduced a fresh new voice in women’s fiction Cecelia Ahern.
Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.
The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!
When ‘P.S. I Love You’ came out on the big screen I was 15, and I absolutely loved it (and kind of still do!) Over the years I’ve heard that people who had read the book didn’t like the film and I just thought they must have been mad. But now here I am, 13 years later, and I can finally understand what they meant!
‘P.S. I Love You’ the book is so very different to ‘P.S. I Love You’ the film and if I had read them the other way round, I’d probably be angry too!
Holly Kennedy has recently lost the love of her life, Gerry, to a brain tumour. She’s understandably broken by this loss, withdrawing from her life for a couple of months of grief until her mother gives her a call to encourage her to pick up a package with her name on it. Inside the package are ten envelopes written by Gerry, one for each of the months ahead. Gerry has written Holly ten letters, encouraging and guiding her through the most difficult period of her life, ending each with the titular ‘P.S. I Love You’. These letters each gave Holly a task, from buying a bedside lamp, to facing her fears on the karaoke stage, to finding her dream job.
“Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we’re gone.”
I thought that this was going to be really soppy and romantic, but I was wrong. This isn’t a book full of sadness either, it’s a feel-good read that highlights the good in moments of darkness. What I liked most was how realistic this book was. So often in fiction, characters get over terrible things quickly, moving on to the next thing, place or person. ‘P.S. I Love You’, however, gives Holly a whole book to find herself, to grieve, to discover what she wants from her new life and to accept it all whilst still honouring her husband. The journey isn’t easy, but it’s bittersweet.
Holly is a very likeable character and her friends and family are great characters too. I really liked the stories of Holly’s circle of friends in particular who are much more developed than I would have expected from the film. I also loved hearing about their adventures in Ireland and it was nice to hear names of places I recognised.
I did feel that the book was a little too flushed out and was a lot longer than I would usually read. I listened to this in audiobook and was listening for a whopping 13 hours which to me felt like forever! I have to be honest and say my attention waned in the last couple of hours. I think that if it were shorter and more succinct, this could easily have been a 5 star read for me.
I’ll still always love the film but I also really enjoyed the book! I’m really looking forward to reading ‘Postscript’, a recently published sequel to this story and hope to share my review soon! (update, it’s here: Postscript)
Overall rating: I’ve finally read ‘P.S. I Love You’ by Cecilia Ahern. After years of loving the film, I’m pleased to find that I also really enjoyed the book. Telling an uplifting story of grief and rediscovering life, this was a great 4 star read for me!
See my other reviews of books by Cecelia Ahern here: