Friday, April 20, 2012

PS, I Love You

I bought this book ages ago, literally, it's been a few years that this book has been sitting on my bookshelf. With preparing to move I had to make a decision: what books was I willing to leave behind and what books did I want to take with me. I'm a book hoarder (this goes for my Kindle as well). I buy more books than I read and they all end up sitting on my bookshelves collecting dust until I get around to reading them. I've been trying very hard not to purchase anymore books because I have so many that have yet to be read. Plus, it's just a way to save money. Why purchase more books when I already have shelves of books I have yet to read? So as I packed up my books I specifically tried to gather only the books I have yet to read. Into the boxes they went and there they sat.

Honestly, packing my books was the saddest part of the whole packing experience.

So with the weeks leading up to my move I made my way through one book after another until I ran out of the books I had sitting aside and had to dig into the boxes I packed. I picked one box, that was the deal, I could only read a book from that one box. After looking through my options I found the copy of PS, I Love You that I picked up back when I was a book seller. Often I have grabbed this book, looked at it, and thought, "I really need to read this." Then I would place the book back on the shelf and move onto something else. I'm indecisive like that, what can I say? But finally, I grabbed the book out of my box and started to read it.

It's a heavy topic, the mourning of a wife for her husband who died far too young, and I think you need to realize that as you go into the book. It has its funny moments, points where you chuckle and embarrassing actions are almost too painfully close to real life, but they're all filtered through the heartache of a woman who had lost her soulmate.

I saw the film based on this book prior to reading it. The movie had me crying through the entire thing. I'm a crier, I'll admit it, but usually I get a little wet-eyed and brush it off. No, this movie had me making big, ugly tears. So I was well prepared for the book to completely slay me. But... it didn't. Not like the movie did. And maybe that's my fault to have watched the film prior to reading the book. I managed to cry once, towards the end, but I can understand how some people will find the entire book cry-worthy. It is upsetting and heartbreaking, as I mentioned, but it's also empowering. I feel that anyone who has experienced death before will grasp what the main character, Holly, is going through. Maybe not to her extent as each death is different, but Ahern really does place the weight of the situation on paper with clear description and emotion.

So we travel with Holly over the course of ten months and watch her struggle to regain control over her own life after receiving such a blow. With the aid of letters her husband wrote before his death, she finds some guidance in an otherwise stressful year and manages to discover what she is left to do with her life: live.

I only have one complaint about the book: it seemed that the editing was really, really horrible. But since a lot of the mistakes I kept finding were so consistent I wonder if it was more of a matter that this book was written to have happened in Ireland, maybe it was slang that I was reading which I do not know of (as an American) and I only saw that as mistakes? Who knows. Otherwise, the book is great, but don't read it if you aren't in the best of spirits!

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