I am not a contemporary romantic tragedy lover but there was this charm about ‘P.S.I Love You’. The love story of Holly and Gerry was too perfect to be true and the fairytale ended tragically way too soon. Sadly, I didn’t know Cecelia Ahern until the movie makers decided to go ahead and make this unforgettable romantic experience on celluloid.
It is simply unbelievable to perceive the author to have achieved writing ‘P.S.I Love You’ when she was just twenty-one years old. Fifteen years since she wrote her debut novel, Cecelia Ahern has fifteen novels and a long list of short stories to her credit. My love for her, as an author, had started with ‘P.S.I Love You’ and the writing impressed me further with ‘Love, Rosie’ (rechristened from Where Rainbows End’).
I absolutely adore ‘Rosie’. The book is so much fun to read. Imagine you are able to read all the letters, cards, instant messages and chats of people in a book. The narrative flows from one correspondence to the next, imagine the magic of Gerry’s letter in an entire book. This was Cecelia Ahern’s second book after ‘P.S.I Love You’ and equally rolling in romance and tragedy.
‘Love, Rosie’ starts with seven-year-old Rosie and her best friend Alex exchanging notes in a classroom. The two neighbours in Dublin are separated as Alex’s family move to Boston. It is probably a predictable love story that begins with friendship, unaware of the budding love and then life taking precedence over one’s inner feelings. The fifty-year time span of the story fits in every angle possible in Rosie-Alex’s life, their families, friends, professions and personal losses.
Just like Holly earlier, in this book the female protagonist – Rosie takes the center stage with her decisions and yearnings. It is her will to raise a child single-handedly which sets her life’s struggles in motion. As an independent woman, Rosie keeps aside her dream of working in a reputed hotel for making a decent living. Gradually, as Rosie’s daughter grows up, she can think of love in her life and maybe, pursue her dreams of being a professional.
‘I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. I can make the flat as pretty as I can, put as many flower boxes on the windowsills as I want, put a welcome mat outside the front door, hang a ‘Home Sweet Home’ sign over the fireplace and take to wearing aprons and baking cookies, but the truth is that I know I don’t want to stay here forever.’
The Time of My Life
‘The Time of My Life’ was the last book I read by Cecelia Ahern. Somehow, this seemed to be a half-baked island of romance and young-adult genre. In this book Lucy meets Life, yes literally there is a man called Life working in some office (similar to Bruce Almighty setting) that keeps track of one’s deeds. This is nothing unusual for Lucy as it is much advertised in magazines.
Lucy has developed the habit of ignoring failures and lying about things to go by her life. And, if you are too lazy and unproductive then the personal Life visits you, sticks around you till you are all sorted. Cecelia Ahern equates Lucy’s level of degradation with her Life’s disheveled personality. Dramatically set in modern time, the story is about getting the reins of your life back and told in contemporary language.
‘When you left I Googled people’s dreams. Because you were right, I didn’t have one, which is rather pathetic, I should have one…I don’t know which is more pathetic, not having a dream or Googling other people’s.’
The problem with Lucy is that she is unlike Holly or Rosie. There are no redeeming points. She is just lazy and laid back. There are pages devoted to Lucy getting her carpet cleaned through a hired service as Life is pressing her to have a more hygienic living condition. And, ultimately, truth and hygiene bring bonus points and betters ‘Life’s’ condition.
Why will I go back to Holly’s story?
For the love I have for Holly’s character, I wish to go back to her story and read from where I left. But then, the pessimist side of me doesn’t wish to disturb the beautiful memory I have of ‘PS I Love You’. I know Cecelia Ahern’s writing is simple and lucid which adds pace to reading her books. The emotional connect is instant in every story.
‘Postscript’ is said to be set seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died and six years since she read the last letter left by him. The much awaited book comes out today (19th September 2019).
So if you read ‘Postscript’, do drop by and leave your impression.