The much-anticipated sequel to the stunning ‘PS, I Love You’, Cecilia Ahern returns to Holly and her family 7 years later.
Holly has moved on. Well, as much as anyone ever can after losing their husband to cancer when he was only 30 years old. After Gerry died, he sent Holly a letter each month, guiding her through her grief and proving that true love never dies. This is the basis of the first book.
Although this is a sequel, it could be read as a stand alone novel as it remembers the letters Holly received from Gerry and even adds more wonderful memories on top.
Holly is happy. Seven years after the last posthumous letter from her dead husband, she works in her sister’s shop and has a serious boyfriend. Her sister dabbles in recording a regular podcast and asks Holly if she’ll be interviewed for this month’s topic…talking about death. Against her better judgement, Holly agrees and participates in the podcast, which, of course, is a huge hit.
It is from the snowball of this that she learns of the PS, I Love You Club – a group of terminally ill patients who want to follow in the footsteps of Holly’s husband, Gerry, and leave something special behind for their loved ones. At first, Holly is vehemently against any involvement in the club but after a near-miss accident, she begins to change her mind.
What follows is predictable but lovely, in true Ahern style, it sucks you in and turns on all the feelings. I’m an old romantic at heart so it was hard for me to accept Holly moving on, but Ahern does a great job of bringing her characters to life and so the “new” Holly soon became just as loveable as the original. The rest of the cast was a mix of recognisable characters and new additions, each with their own distinct personality that jumps right off the page.
Of all the individual stories contained within this treasure trove, it was the smallest mentions towards the end that undid me – for very personal reasons, I sobbed when I read about the ninety-nine red balloons.
I’d like to have given this book four stars because I did enjoy it, but there were just a few things that frustrated me – firstly, the father of a baby in the book is completely ignored in terms of his rights as a parent. It’s not the mother’s decision as to whether he should get to be the dad and this was glossed over in the book as being a perfectly normal response. I’ve added my other frustrations in the warning section below due to spoilers but if you’re reading this review because you want to know about the childless element of it, I urge you to read the triggers to prepare yourself.
It becomes very obvious quite early on that there will be a miracle baby. Dying teen mother + infertile couple = same old trope, but one I recognise as being uplifting for some. For the childless community, I don’t think this is always the case and I personally rolled my eyes to the back of my head when I realised I was 100% right. There is a lot of family-dynamic stuff but it’s refreshing that Holly remains childless throughout the book. A caveat here though; Ahern has suggested their may be future books in the series and I wouldn’t be surprised if Holly ends up with a baby, despire being 37 and having her boyfriend’s 16-year old living with them. Definitely not a prime baby-making scenario.