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P.S. I Love You  
UK cover
Author Cecelia Ahern
Country Ireland
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Thorndike Press
Publication date April 2004
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 655 pp (hardback edition) &
512 pp (paperback edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-7862-6164-1 (hardback edition) &
ISBN 0-00-716500-5 (paperback edition)
OCLC Number 54374542
Followed by Where Rainbows End

P.S. I Love You is Irish writer Cecelia Ahern's first novel, published in 2004. The book reached #1 bestseller status in Ireland (for 19 weeks), the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Contents

Plot summary

Set in Ireland, Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life - a passionate, funny and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry's life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry, so it's a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of 10 letters that will guide her, not only through her grief but in rediscovering herself. The messages are Gerry's way of informing Holly life goes on. The messages include various tasks and treats Gerry has left for Holly. This is his way of letting her know he will always be there for her. Each letter sends her on a new adventure and each signs off in the same way: "P.S. I Love You." Holly's mother and best friends, Sharon and Denise, begin to worry that Gerry's letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but, in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future. With Gerry's words as her guide, Holly embarks on a journey of rediscovery in a story about marriage, friendship and how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into new beginning for life.

Characters in "P.S. I Love You"

  • Holly Kennedy - The Main Character
  • Gerry - Holly's Late Husband
  • Sharon McCarthy - Holly Best Friend
  • John McCarthy - Sharon's Husband
  • Denise Hennessey - Holly's Friend
  • Tom O'Connor - Denise's Fiance
  • Daniel Connolly - Holly's Friend
  • Elizabeth Kennedy - Holly's Mother
  • Frank Kennedy - Holly's Father
  • Richard Kennedy - Holly's Older Brother
  • Meredith Kennedy - Richard's Wife
  • Timothy Kennedy - Richard's Son
  • Emily Kennedy - Richard's Daughter
  • Jack Kennedy - Holly's Brother
  • Abbey - Jack's Girlfriend
  • Ciara Kennedy - Holly's Younger Sister
  • Mathew - Ciara's Australian Boyfriend
  • Declan Kennedy - Holly's Younger Brother
  • Leo - Holly's Stylist
  • Barbara - A Travel Agent
  • Chris Feeney - Holly's Boss
  • Alice Goodyear - Holly's Secretary
  • Charlie - A Bartender
  • Laura - Daniel's Ex- girlfriend

Reception

Despite the hype and commercial success, (Bertie Ahern's daughter) Cecilia Ahern's debut novel drew mixed-to-negative reception. Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ) gave it three out of five stars, stating that Ahern's book is "funny and emotional" but criticised the message of getting over the death of a loved one by "getting drunk and shopping".[1] The Guardian wrote a satirical review in which Ahern's shallow characterisation and melodramatic plot was lampooned.[2] The Clare County library called the book "overhyped", "predictable" and "full of stock characters", but lastly an "easy read... and a nice holiday read".[3] Amazon.co.uk calls it "at times repetitive and her delivery is occasionally amateurish [but] Ahern deserves credit for a spirited first effort".[4]

The plot is uncannily and extremely similar to that of a 1997 Korean film entitled The Letter [1].[5]

Movie adaptation

A film adaptation of the book was released in 2007 with Hilary Swank as the lead character, Holly, and Gerard Butler as her deceased husband, Gerry. James Marsters plays John McCarthy and Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays William Gallagher. The other cast includes Kathy Bates, Harry Connick, Jr., Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow. Filming began in early October, 2006 in New York City and Ireland, and was released on December 21, 2007 in the United States (see below for other release information).[2]

Although box office numbers were very high, critics gave the film poor reviews. As of January 13, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 21% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 82 reviews.[6] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 42 out of 100, based on 15 reviews.[7]

The scripts used in the production of the movie all had to be revised due to the fact that page 76, line 13, did not read "I love you, Holly Kennedy," and instead mistakenly read "I love you, Holly Bok."[3]

Differences Between Novel & Film Adaptation

The major difference between the novel and its film adaptation is that in the novel, main characters Holly and Gerry Kennedy are both Irish, while in the film, only Gerry is Irish, Holly and her family are Irish Americans and the two live in New York. Also in the novel, Holly has numerous siblings, but in the film she has one. In the film, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays William, a character who does not exist in the book. However, the film remains fairly true to the novel, and all of Gerry's letters are virtually unchanged.

Notes

Sources








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