Book Review of Postscript by Cecilia Ahern

Harper Collins €10.99

This week sees the paperback publication of Postscript, another hit from the remarkable Cecilia Ahern. Sixteen years have passed since Ahern’s first novel PS, I Love You became such a huge success, both as a novel and later as a film. She’s written fifteen novels since then and in 2018 she produced ROAR, an anthology of short stories reflecting on the contemporary lives of women, which met with considerable critical acclaim.

In Postscript we meet Holly seven years after her husband’s death and six years since his last letter was received. She’s now in a new relationship and working in a vintage clothes shop. She is requested to be involved in a podcast about grief, which she’s initially dubious about, but she ends up doing it anyway. Soon afterwards a small group of people with fatal illnesses who call themselves the PS, I Love You Club approach Holly to help them say goodbye to their loved ones. At first she balks. She doesn’t want her entire life to be defined by her widowhood. Time has passed and she’s moved on, surely people should realise this? She has myriad reservations about revisiting all of the sadness in her life. But the group persists and Holly eventually relents, meeting, among others, single mother Ginika who is fatally ill and wants to learn to read and write so she can leave letters behind for her baby daughter.

All of this sounds horribly mawkish, and yet it’s anything but. Ahern handles her subject matter beautifully in this life-affirming sequel, balancing light and darkness with the confidence of a writer who is by now an old hand. And I think I see another film on the horizon…

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