PS, I Love You: A Novel
by Cecelia Ahern
Everyone needs a guardian angel. Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry. Childhood sweethearts, they can finish each other’s sentences and even when they fight, they laugh. No one can 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, one for each of the months after his death, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed ‘PS, 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 realizes–but it always helps if there’s an angel watching over you.
PS, I Love You is a beautiful story that deals with love and bereavement. Holly has recently lost the love of her life, Gerry, to a brain tumor. Now widowed at a young age, she struggles to get her life back together. Holly’s mother explains that before Gerry died, he wrote a series of notes to help encourage her to get back to living life without him. Over the course of the year she opens these messages.
PS, I promised a list, so here it is. The following envelopes must be opened exactly when labeled and must be obeyed. And remember, I am looking out for you, so I will know…
For me it’s so easy to resonate with Holly. I haven’t experienced losing a husband, but if this happened to me, it would be a complete life-altering event. The anguish, loneliness, and heartbreak would be too much to bear. It’s nearly impossible for Holly to get back on her feet, and the author did an amazing job describing the emotions and fears a grieving person deals with after loss.
During Holly’s healing journey, she also reflects on their relationship and some of the things she wishes she’d done differently. These reminiscing bits were what sparked much of my emotion and morphed me into an emotional bawl-bag. Luckily, Holly has strong support from family and friends, but even those relationships have challenges ahead.
Holly’s blood boiled and as she spoke her voice shook with rage, “And you wonder why I don’t go out with you. Because of stupid, insensitive remarks like that. Did you ever think for one moment that it might be hard for me? The fact that all you talk about are your bloody wedding arrangements and how happy you are and how excited you are and how you can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with Tom in wedded bliss. In case you hadn’t noticed, Denise, I didn’t get that chance because my husband died. But I am very happy for you, really I am.”
This is my second reading. I decided to revisit the book after winning a copy of the sequel, Postscript. In all honesty, there was still plenty of emotion during this second reading; however, it felt like the book dragged in parts and some of the emotion was lost for me. There were some changes that I appreciated in the film: location, the removal or changing of some characters, how Holly and Gerry meet, and other plot changes. A few parts were definitely more emotional in the movie. Perhaps the biggest difference of all between the two is Gerry; he’s brought to life in the movie. Regardless, in the end there’s just no comparison to the book which has so much more detail with Holly’s pain, challenges, and struggles to finding a new normal. In addition, the book has much more development on the family (some of which aren’t in the movie), and supporting characters. With that said, I enjoyed both the book and movie for what they are.
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (January 14, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0306873664
- ISBN-13: 978-0306873669
I’d like to share a clip from the movie. Now, in the book when Holly goes back to sing karaoke per request in one of Gerry’s letters, she sings “With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles. This was switched up in the movie to “Love You ‘Til The End” by The Pogues. This is one example of how I think certain parts of the movie were a little more emotional than the book, especially with how Gerry is brought to life.
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read the book or watched the movie? Maybe both? Let’s chat in the comment section!