P.S. I love you (the film) made me cry buckets and I really enjoyed it but having read the book, I think I prefer the book’s storyline. I wasn’t too impressed with her writing style, but Cecelia Ahern did manage to make me cry at crucial points. And she had a way of tugging at your heartstrings with the letters that Gerry wrote. What I really love about it, other than the letters of course, is the very believable process of Holly letting go of her dead husband.
When I first started reading, I thought the dialogues were too lame and far too haphazard. Much as I understood her passages, it didn’t read like a book. But then I found that if I just skimmed through and got the gist of the sentences instead of reading the prose, it irritated me less. Maybe I’ve read one too many books that require readers to plough through each word painstakingly. Most writers would appreciate that, I thought, because much care is put into choosing the perfect words. But with her, the words just spill out like pixels forming an image. If you focus on the words too much, your attention is taken from the scenes she paints. Anyway, I’m starting to ramble but it’s just, she paints detailed pictures, you just have to let the words flow past you without grabbing at them until the end image is constructed. If not, you’ll lose a few pixels.
Gerry is amazing. Allow me to revel in his fictitious posthumous glory. The part where he plans his wife’s holiday when he’s weak and the only one in on the plot was brave and selfless. And he asked for a sea view for an extra 30 euros! It is in these little details she describes casually that you see how deep his love for Holly runs. Also, she doesn’t give an implausible overdose of saccharine romance. It isn’t perfect. Gerry gets impossible sometimes. And Holly has her moments. But love isn’t about perfection. It is about loving someone when they’re the least lovable. And I think Ahern perfected that imperfection. Almost, anyway.
Alright, I did say her words seem to spill out but occasionally she hits the bull’s eye and a quotable quote spills out. In his first letter, Gerry wrote: “…you made my life. (…) But I am just a chapter in your life…” That made my heart turn over.
I saved the best for last. Unlike other cheesy romances, Holly doesn’t get her new prince and live happily ever after. And the bestest thing is, Ahern was angling towards the reverse for almost three quarter of the book. Actually, I would have been alright with it. (Though I was going: “One year?”) I mean, if Holly and Daniel were to get together. Just one year after the love of her life died. You almost think it’s going to end like all the others. But it doesn’t. She does give a hint of a future with Rob the guy Holly met in the supermarket though. So, anyway, I’m glad Ahern didn’t presume to fool her readers with a crap ending that Holly finds a new love after all that honest misery and grieving she describes.
If I may add something, I like the way she developed the Richard character too. Instead of just breathing life into Holly and Daniel and a few others and attempt to prop the story with some cardboard figures. Richard’s side story touched me. Bit like an uncredited dark horse by the side of the stage.
So there! My first review. Phew! I’m not much of a critic but figured I need to diversify if a future in writing is my hope.