Monday, 17 May 2010

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

GENRE: chick lit/Irish romance

Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other's sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other. Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He's left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed "P.S. I Love You." As the notes are gradually opened, and as the year unfolds, Holly is both cheered up and challenged. The man who knows her better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing - and being braver than ever before. Life is for living, she realises - but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.

I loved this novel. I loved just about everything about it. It’s a beautiful Irish romance about losing someone you love, about grieving and about getting back on your feet and finding yourself in the process. I can still hardly believe this was Ahern’s debut novel. She positioned herself into the situation so well, as if she’d gone through something similar herself. The emotions are genuine and very strong, and they permeate every page. It starts with Gerry’s death, and then his wife Holly remembers him and their moments together in retrospective, with each letter she receives by him. Before his death, when he was sick, Gerry made a spectacular and beautiful arrangement – Holly will be getting a number of letters from him telling her what to do to move on. He knew her so well that he knew exactly what she’d be missing and what she should do without him. His love for her is so beautiful, deep and selfless that it actually brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. I rarely cry when reading, but with this book, I shed a few tears about three times. His last letter is pretty symbolic, as it is the last letter Holly will ever receive from Gerry, and he will truly be gone from her life. He tells her so, and wishes her to move on. He won’t resent it, it’s time. I liked her reaction to it, and her decision.

I find it amazing how Gerry helped Holly after his death. When they were together, she depended on him entirely, but after his death, he made her an independent woman who knows what she wants with her life. When she was with Gerry, that was more than enough for Holly and she forgot herself, but Gerry knew better.

Gerry was a great husband, friend, and man. I have no complaints about his character. I also loved Holly very much. She is a girl next door, not perfect, not extraordinary in any way, but she had a special gift for a while – someone who loved her absolutely and selflessly. She is sad and devastated at the beginning of the novel, but she slowly grows out of it. At times, she makes mistakes and puts her sorrow before her life and her friends, but she overcomes that, too. She and her friends have some very funny and delightful moments togethe, and even get themselves into a mess on their vacation. Her family is pretty interesting to read about as well. They are noisy and a bit overwhelming, even peculiar, but that makes them so good.

The ending is very hopeful. Holly finds herself at peace and is ready to make choices. I like the book far better than the movie. The movie is good if you forget about the novel, which is just superior to the movie. Also, the book ending is better and more appropriate than the movie’s. So, if you have seen the movie, but haven’t read the book – do it, read the book.



Julie P said...

I really enjoyed the movie, so I am sure the book is WAY better (they always seem to be)! Thanks for sharing!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

The book is WAY better, at least to me. But the movie is very nice, too, I've watched it several times already, haha. I just prefer the book, that's all.

Milka said...

I've seen the movie about 10 times but never actually read the book. I probably need to get it from somewhere to read since the you say that the book is way better than the movie and the movie already is amazing! :)

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Yes, Milka, the book is totally beautiful!