Title: P S I Love You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Genre: Romance Fiction
First Publication: 2004
Major Characters: Holly Kennedy, Frank Kennedy, Jack Kennedy, Gerry Clark, Sharon McCarthy, Denise Hennessey, Daniel Connolly, Elizabeth Kennedy, Ciara Kennedy, Declan Kennedy, Richard Kennedy, John McCarthy, Tom O’Connor
Setting Place: Dublin (Ireland)
Theme: Love, Dealing with the death
P S I Love You is an uplifting debut book of the author, Cecilia Ahern. It is a sweet and simple love tale that revolves around childhood sweethearts, Holly and Gerry. They always knew that they are soul mates and are destined to be together. This is evidenced through the fact that they could complete each others’ sentences. And after fighting they would just laugh it off and be normal and loving. None of their folks could envisage them without each other.
But this love saga takes an unfortunate turn, when it is found that Gerry is suffering from brain tumor. Gerry’s unfortunate death ruins Holly. On her 30th birthday, Gerry joins her back in the form of a bunch of love notes that he has left for her for each coming month after his death. He is close to her even after his demise. Through his beautiful loving notes, he tenderly directs her new being without him. Every note of his is signed ‘P.S. I Love You’.
Slowly and steadily, Holly becomes joyful and challenged with reading each of his notes. Gerry, who knows Holly better than anyone else, teaches and guides her that no matter what the circumstances are, LIFE GOES ON…
Holly also finds help and support in her loud and affectionate family and her friends too stand by her side. She laughs, cries and sings through the ongoing years. She believes that everybody should have a Guardian Angel to protect them in one form or the other. And she realizes that Life is for Living.
Book Review: P S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
P S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern starts with Holley Kennedy keeping to herself a few months after the death of her husband Gerry Clarke. Holly and Gerry have been together since high school and Holly’s world revolved around Gerry since then. Gerry was diagnosed with a brain tumour and rounds of medical procedures have not stopped him from succumbing to the death that it brought with it.
Holly closed off to everybody, wallowing in the grief that Gerry’s death brought. She had no appetite and no desire to continue with her life as it was before Gerry passed.
“Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars”
Cecelia Ahern’s storytelling style had her cutting back and forth from the present to the past, illustrating the relationship that Gerry had with Holly, her family and their circle of friends. Through these flashbacks, the readers learn that they shared a joke called “The List” which Gerry promised Holly he would write for her so that she can cope with the loss of Gerry. As Holly realized some time in the story, of all of Gerry’s promises, this was the hardest for her to accept since it meant that he was gone.
Turns out that Gerry did prepare a list for Holly some time between his medical procedures. He sent a package to Holly’s parents’ house which contained individual envelopes labelled from April to December with a letter to Holly that she open an envelope per month to do Gerry’s list for her.
“Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Open your heart and follow where it leads you.”
The tasks went from buying a bedside lamp (since it was always a nightly thing for them to argue who would get out of bed to close the bedroom light) to conquering her fear of karaoke to a wonderful Spanish vacation with her closest friends, to finding her dream job. In between the tasks, Holly learned more about her family and friends as well as how life continues despite the all the loss.
Cecelia Ahern created compelling characters that tell about growing up, the poignancy of loss and of rediscovery. The characters are real people that they seem to jump out of the pages and at me. They are flawed and human in their reactions and in their choices. The characters were incredibly well developed. It is every wife’s nightmare to be in Holly’s position but I feel like she captured as best as possible what it would be like to be her.
“What a luxury it was for people to hold their loved ones whenever they wanted”
Unlike a lot of chick lit books, the side characters were also well developed. Her friends and family were portrayed in a realistic and entertaining way. I especially loved the sibling dynamics. All in all, Cecelia Ahern does a great job of straddling the fine line of writing about a woman trying to get on with her life after the death of her husband.