THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE PLOT & CHARACTERS
Title: P.S. I Love You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Year of Publication: 2004
Genre: Chick Lit
Format: Audio Book
Length: 6 hours and 7 minutes
First Line: “Holly held the blue cotton sweater to her face and the familiar smell immediately struck her, an overwhelming grief knotting her stomach and pulling at her heart.”
Summary: 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!
Review: A lot of reviewers on GoodReads seemed to dislike this novel because they saw the movie version first and were disappointed in the book. I in fact, saw the movie P.S. I Love You before I read this. But I watched it years ago and really didn’t remember that much of it. So I would probably recommend that readers either 1) read the book first then watch the movie or 2) watch the movie, wait a couple years so you barely remember what happened and then read the book.
P.S. I Love You was incredibly depressing until a little over half way through. Holly was in deep grief, like ‘didn’t get out of the bed for days on end’ part of grief for her late husband. If you have a significant other you will (or I’ll be surprised if you don’t) start to think what if you were in Holly’s position. But, as I stated it gets better over time. Holly’s grief lessens as she lets happiness and opportunities into her life.
Something that I found kind of interesting and I might be alone on this one, was that I found most of the men in the novel to be horrible. Gerry was the exception, Ahern (or perhaps Holly?) painted a picture of Gerry as the ideal man, the perfect man, a Godlike man… Other men we encountered had their flaws.
Daniel sort of harassed Holly for a month because he was in love with her and wanted them to be together. When they finally see each other again at the end of the novel… Daniel had unexpectedly realized that he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend and was back with her. For the entire novel, Ahern wrote it like Daniel and Holly were going to get together, they didn’t and frankly get a copped-out ending.
Declan, Holly’s younger brother, filmed Holly and her friends when they were drunk as skunks and submitted their adventure as a documentary in a contest. His documentary won and was televised all over Ireland. Holly and her friends were humiliated. Teenager Declan didn’t really seem to care that he has mortified Holly, he just cared that he had won an award.
Then there was Ciara’s Australian boyfriend, Matthew. Ciara, Holly’s wild younger sister, came back to Ireland from Australia because she had a fight and broke up with her boyfriend, Matthew. In the fight, Ciara suggested that she should ‘just go back to Ireland and never come back’ and Matthew responded that he’d be completely fine if she left and never returned. Ciara did go back to her family’s home, expecting Matthew to call and apologize. Months go by and he never did. Ciara believed that Matthew was the love of her life and was intensely upset by their separation. Holly even suggested that perhaps it wasn’t ‘meant to be’ between the two of them. However, at Ciara’s birthday party, Matthew arrived and asked for forgiveness and of course Ciara accepted his apology. It might be just me, but if your boyfriend doesn’t contact your for the better part of a year after a tiny fight, then why bother? Matthew the boyfriend didn’t have any redeeming qualities besides the fact that he was Australian.
Overall, it was a really good book. Great characters, interesting story line. Did it make me want to read more from Ahern? Hmm… not at the moment. Maybe someday.
Worst part: Felt like a lot of the guys in the novel were jerks.
Best part: How Holly overcame her grief by making new friends and opportunities.
Recommend For: Nicholas Sparks fans and those who like novels set in Ireland.
Other Books by This Author: Thanks for the Memories and The Book of Tomorrow