P.S. I Love You was a heart-breakingly beautiful story about love and loss and what happens when the world interferes once you’ve found the person you want to spend forever with. Now, Cecelia Ahern’s long awaited sequel to the multi-million bestseller, Postscript, is out, with a message as strong and poignant as the first book.
It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.
She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.
Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…
Postscript is a testament to anybody who has lost someone or in grieving. Whether that’s through death, a break up, distance, or one of the million and one other ways someone can be taken from our lives. This story is so important in the way that the words practically save us, the simple yet complex story on only a thin page gives us the perpetual hope that once seemed utterly nonexistent.
The thing is, when you lose someone nothing makes up for the fact that the only thing you have left is a hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And Postscript is a novel that faces that fact head on.
In P.S. I Love You, we saw Holly putting together the remaining pieces of her life after loss. But in Postscript, we see how that affected the rest of her life. There are things we don’t think we are capable of surviving until we have no other choice but to survive it. There are things that seem impossible to face until they actually come to us head on.
Which leads to the powerful message of this novel: There is hope in darkness. There is a way to face the impossible, even when it seems like there isn’t. There’s always a way to survive the unsurvivable.
Speaking about her husband’s death, his letters and how it impacted her in a podcast about dealing with grief, Holly says:
“‘The path that I took was to focus on the gift he gave me, and that was the gift that losing him gave me: finding myself. I don’t feel less of a person, nor am I ashamed to say that Gerry’s death broke me. His letters helped me to find myself again. It took losing him to make me discover a part of myself that I never knew existed.’ I’m lost in my words and I can’t stop. I need them to know. If I was sitting in the audience seven years ago, I would need to hear. ‘I found a new and surprising strength inside of me, I found it at the bottom of a dark and lonely place, but I found it. And, unfortunately, that’s where we find life’s treasures. After digging, toiling in the darkness and dirt, we finally hit something concrete. I learned that rock bottom can actually be a springboard.’”
— Cecelia Ahern, Postscript
The other thing that Ahern touches on in Postscript, is the idea of the one. It’s the most accurate picture of what it means to be the one that I’ve ever encountered when reading a novel.
When I previously wrote about the message in P.S. I Love You, I said that I believe that nobody has just one soulmate, if we did that would be such a dumb system. I think we get more than just one thing, or person, in this world to love. But there are some people who are meant to find each other, who are fated for each other, like Holly and Gerry, even if it’s just for a while and then their time passes.
In the second novel, Ahern explores this message a little deeper, and explains exactly what is meant by the one. She writes:
“I was younger when I met Gerry and perhaps naively believed that he and I were soulmates, that he was the one, but when he died, I stopped thinking like that. I’ve come to believe that at different times of our lives, we are drawn to certain people for various reasons, mainly because that version of ourselves is connected to that version of them at that particular time. If you stick at it, work at it, you can grow in different directions together. Sometimes you get pulled apart, but I believe there is the right person, the one, for all the different versions of yourself. Gabriel and I lived in the now. Gerry and I aimed for forever. We got a fraction of forever. And an enjoyable now and a fraction of forever is always better than nothing at all.”
— Cecelia Ahern, Postscript
This book is proof that there is always more love out there regardless to what we have to go through to find it. And it shows us that no matter what is thrown at us, we are capable of standing back up every time the world tries to knock us down.