I came across this book at Rachna Books, Gangtok, a reputed independent bookstore. Although it seemed like a thick book, I felt like trying it out as the theme of the book appealed to me – a dead husband’s letters to his wife.
I had feared it would be a chick-lit, and yes, it turned out to be. Although the grieving parts have been handled with maturity for a 21 year old author, which is commendable, almost half of the novel is filled with girly stuff which is difficult to digest. All the obsession with clothes, appearance, shopping etc. is boring for a guy to read; maybe girls will prefer it. The episode of the girls appearing in a TV show was not at all funny. In fact, it was disgusting and should have been removed from the book. Some characters behave in a peculiar manner without warning which is difficult to comprehend. The language, despite showing glimpses of brilliance, is ordinary and childish, especially the blatant overuse of adverbs like seriously, sarcastically, etc.. However, some scenes are written well, too. The author deserves credit for them. Some more of Gerry’s memories should have been added instead of the chick lit and drinking stuff. The way the characters behave in the trip to Spain is also strange and off-putting. The fact that a woman is drinking and causing havoc in pubs, months after her husband’s death, is nauseating. Holly is, sometimes, difficult to like, but sometimes, she does end up doing some noble things too. However, they are too few and far between. I have never read characters ‘roll their eyes’ so much in any novel before. She could have expressed it in a different/unique manner. Yet, some parts on how Holly copes with his death slowly are written well. I was on the verge of getting emotional on some parts, especially the ones on Gerry, but it would end abruptly and the chick lit would resume again, diluting the emotions.
Overall, its a decent one time read if you ignore the excessive girly stuff, strange behavior of the protagonist, and unnecessary events having no relation to the plot. If those were removed and the language were more mature, it would be a much solid, engrossing read instead of the somewhat dragged out read that it is now. 3 stars from me.