Friday, February 21, 2020

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern: Heartbreaking, Insightful, and Healing

Postscript (PS I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern
Published: February 11th, 2020
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
# of pages: 300
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Add to Goodreads
Buy this book: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo 

Seven years after her husband's death - six since she read his final letter - Holly Kennedy has moved on with her life. When Holly's sister asks her to tell the story of the "PS, I Love You" letters on her podcast - to revisit the messages Gerry wrote before his death to read after his passing - she does so reluctantly, not wanting to reopen old wounds.

But after the episode airs, people start reaching out to Holly, and they all have one thing in common: they're terminally ill and want to leave their own missives behind for loved ones. Suddenly, Holly finds herself drawn back into a world she's worked tirelessly to leave behind - but one that leads her on another incredible, life-affirming journey.

I was equal parts excited and wary when I heard Cecelia Ahern was releasing a sequel to PS I Love You. I read and loved PS I Love You many, many years ago, and I’m a huge fan of the movie. There was a time when I was obsessed with Cecelia’s books and devoured all of them, but in recent years I haven’t been as much of a fan. In fact, I DNF’d the last two books of hers I attempted to read, which broke my heart. That fact added to my wariness about Postscript.

But...Postscript was everything I didn’t know I needed for so many reasons. I reread PS I Love You right before going into Postscript because it’s been well over a decade since the first time I read it. I’m glad I did because I hadn’t remembered how vastly different it was from the movie, so it was good to be reminded of Holly and Gerry’s story as Cecelia herself told it.

Postscript picks up seven years after Gerry’s death. Holly is doing well; she’s moved on, she’s found love, she has strong friendships and a job she enjoys, and while she still grieves for Gerry, it’s not as all-consuming as it was. She’s changed and grown in many ways, and she knows a lot of that was because of Gerry’s death and the upheaval it caused in her life. It was also partly because of his letters and how he helped her through that first year after his death. After doing a podcast with her sister about grief and Gerry’s letters, Holly is contacted by a group who were inspired by her story. The PS I Love You Club is a motley crew of people with one thing in common: they’re all terminally ill. Holly is hesitant to help them; she doesn’t want to get sucked into the past, she doesn’t want to fall back into the deep, dark pit of grief, she doesn’t want to relive her worst days, even if it means helping these people. But they win her over, despite her reluctance and the warnings from her family and friends, and she embarks on a surprising, heartbreaking, life-affirming journey filled with bittersweet lessons about life, love, and death. 

This book broke my heart, but it also healed it. I’ve known grief for most of my life; my dad died at the age of 49 when I was just ten. In the following years, I lost my Poppy, various aunts and uncles, people I went to school with, and the hardest death of them all eight years ago, my beloved Grama. Even after all this time, I grieve for her as if she had just died. She lived a long, full life, unlike my dad and unlike many of the people I know who were taken too soon, but losing her was like losing a part of me. Her death left a hole in my heart that will never be filled or healed. Last year was especially difficult for a variety of reasons, which I won’t get into, but you can read about here if you’re interested. Because of that, this book felt very timely. I cried within the first few pages and I cried a lot more during the course of the book, including a section that made me full-on sob. It was incredibly thought-provoking in so many ways, and made me think about life and death and grief. Grief is different for everyone, but this book truly made me feel seen in the way grief was described - the actual feeling of it, the living with it, the questions you have that will never be answered. 

One of the things I appreciated most about this book was that Gerry’s death didn’t magically transform Holly into a different person. She was definitely a different person than she was when he died, but it was a natural progression, the way all of us change over time. She didn’t suddenly have it all together after he died and while his letters helped her learn to move on, she still struggled. Basically, she was a bit of a hot mess before his death and she was still a bit of a hot mess, but that made her so relatable and I loved her for that. I loved that no matter what happened, she was able to pick herself up, dust herself off, and keep going, even when it was painful and even when she was unsure what she was doing.

I feel like I could talk about Postscript forever because it touched me so deeply. I’ve thought about it a lot since finishing it, and I know I’ll continue to think about it for a long time to come. I also know I’ll be recommending this book a lot. While Postscript has its heartbreaking moments, it’s also full of heart, hope, and humour. It’s beautifully written and insightful. I loved Holly’s journey and I felt like I was right there by her side, laughing with her, crying with her, sympathizing with her, and rooting her on.

Have you read Postscript? How about PS I Love You? What's the last book that made you cry?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting Ramblings of a Daydreamer! I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...