P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You

June 15, 2011 2 By Manjil P. Saikia

Book:  PS, I Love You
Author:         Cecelia Ahern
ISBN:  0007270100
ISBN-13: 9780007270101, 978-0007270101
Binding:         Paperback
Publishing Date: 2010
Publisher:      Harper Collins
Edition:         01
Number of Pages:    503
Language:     English
Format:        A

Rating: 3/5

Hello folks, welcome to the summer months of sweat, heat and hopefully a few more books. When Tinam asked me to write a book review, I thought for a while which book to review. The last few books that I have read are fairly technical and hence FE wouldn’t suit them, so I decided to review a book that I had read a few years back. Now don’t think that romantic novels are turning out to be my favourites because the last one that I reviewed here was also a classic romance. “PS, I Love You” is quite a different kind of novel. The first novel by the author, Cecelia Ahern, it carries with it all the woes and surprises of a first work.

The plot revolves around an Irish girl Holly, whose husband and the love of her life, Gerry dies of cancer just a few years into their marriage. Holly not only loses her husband but the only person in her life, who understands every move of hers. His death devastates her and the only person who can help her cope up with the grief and stress is Gerry himself. Gerry’s love for Holly was so immense that before he died he had meticulously planned out to help Holly lead on a new life without him. He had written 10 letters to Holly, to be delivered to her one each month after his death, where he set her to do some tasks that would help Holly get over the grief and enjoy life the way it should be enjoyed. Each letter sends her on a new adventure which slowly moulds her into a new person, each signs off in the same way: “P.S. I Love You.” Holly’s mother and best friends, Sharon and Denise, begin to worry that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but, in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future, making her stronger and helping her to move on into a bright future.

The rest of the novel is just an account of how Holly does everything that Gerry asks her to do and ultimately moves on with her life. The novel at times seems fast paced and at other times, it seems to be a very slow journey. Ahern’s first work is not mind blowing, but her subsequent works till now have proved that she is evolving as a story teller and a novelist. The plot of the novel is at times too predictable and the reader is not left with any incentive to move on with the story. The characters are slightly drawn and are the stock figures of romance – disapproving in-laws, unsympathetic and tear-away siblings and supportive but puzzled parents – who all behave predictably. The theme of the book is meant to be how Holly comes to terms with the devastation of losing her husband – with his help. Bereavement and loss are very weighty subjects for a young inexperienced author to tackle effectively. She does not succeed in doing justice to her chosen theme and fails to convey any depth of feelings or emotion in her main character.

Having said this, however it would be injustice not to mention that the author does have a knack of bringing in surprises from time to time. Although the book from a literary standpoint fails to impress us much, but the story as a standalone piece has that charming ‘magical’ feeling about it, which die-hard romantics swear by. Real life romance and Ahern’s fiction can certainly spice up a few things. The book narrates a man’s love for his wife, so much so that even after he is dead, he can’t see himself being away from her. A book to be enjoyed for some light summer reading, maybe planning out a trip to the beach and you need to something to while away your time, and then this book would be your ideal solace.

Oh yes, if you think reading the book would be too much trouble, then just pick up the DVD of the movie made on the book, and enjoy that instead. In this case, the movie is better than the book. Till the next time, have some fun summer days.

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