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Postscript by Cecilia Aherne

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Many years ago ,in another life time, I spent an entire Easter weekend reading my ‘Easter egg’( Ive never been a fan of chocolate) and sobbing uncontrollably over the beautifully poignant P.S I Love You  by Cecelia Ahern .

I had no idea of the loss of a husband but the heartfelt words called to a part of me that yearned for true love tragedy as it does to so many young women, We love to be tortured by imagined grief. How naive I was. Notes written by a young husband dying of a brain tumour seemed unimaginably romantic and when our heroine read them and so survived the first year after his death I was hooked by the character of Holly. Of course fans will know this went on to be a major film , changed beyond my recognition but still full of love and tears. 

So here we are, Postscript. Set 7 years after the end of the last book Holly is entrenched in a new life and love. Stronger , wiser and confident until a stranger approaches her and begs her help. I will not be giving too much away by saying the help is needed by a group of characters dying in different ways and each having their own unique reason to want to emulate Gerry and leave their own’ PS I Love You’ letters but needing guidance and help from Holly.

Since the last book I have suffered the loss of my husband and although the idea of the book called to me I was not sure if I would be able to read it yet. I haven’t actually read a book in the six months since his death however I felt it might be cathartic and snuggled into his jumper on his side of the sofa and consumed it on one tear drenched Sunday. 

I can honestly say Cecelia Ahern has written a beautiful sequel that hurt my heart yet helped me in ways I am still not sure I understand ,I emerged from it red nosed, emotionally drained yet calm. Just like Gerrys lamp in the first book I felt it was a comfort sent to me at a time  need it and a way to begin reading again which has been a lifelong joy but recently lost to me. 

Cecelia reintroduces us to an older Holly , unwittingly thrown into inner turmoil of if she can dredge up the hurt she has managed to paper over ,  I cant say I have ever actually liked Holly which is strange since  loved the books but maybe that is the point, she is  more real than a heroine and has changes of heart, problems we want to solve for her as an outsider but we cant, and makes decisions we are sure we wouldnt.

 Postscript is a story of love and hope against all the odds just when you think your world might be over there is a tiny glimmer and once again Cecelia Ahern has proved she is a wonderful story weaver.

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I'm a slightly deranged middle aged widow, living in the Cotswolds with two fabulously funny little dogs. A mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Determined to survive by writing to remember, to forget and to cope with grief. the memory of my husband supporting me, guiding me and probably laughing at me if there is a ‘somewhere’

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Books

What is the Kindle Challenge and how to take part in it?

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kindle challenge

The Kindle Challenge is a new initiative by Amazon to encourage people to buy and read Kindle books, it’s an interesting concept that Kobo started years ago but then abandoned. 

Basically every month there will be some challenges and you will need to take part and complete them to gain badges. You can also earn credits to buy Kindle Books.  The challenges so far has been easy like reading a book, buying a book or subscribing to Kindle Unlimited. 

There is obviously a large marketing element but the Kindle Challenge can be fun for users by gamifying the experience users can be motivated to read more. 

How do I take part in the Kindle Challenge?

So far it is at a kind of pilot stage and you must have an invitation, there will be more invites sent in the next few months. Sadly you must live in the United States to take part for the time being. The Challenge might be extended to other countries in future, although there are no details yet. 

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Books

Famous novels that are now in the public domain

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Every year on January 1st, many books enter the public domain either because they were published before 1925 (United States) or at least 70 years have passed since the author’s death (European Union and many other countries).

This year it has been discussed a lot that The Great Gatsby is now in the public domain and yes you can download it here for free.

Also very famous are other titles now in the public domain such as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil, Sugimoto’s A Daughter of the Samurai and John Dos Passos’ Manhattan Transfer.

There are other major titles that have now entered the public domain on January 1st 2021 but have not yet been uploaded online.

These are Dreyser’s An American Tragedy, Hemingway’s In our Time and Aldous Huxley’s Three Barren Leaves. These will be available later this year on sites like the Internet Archive and the Gutenberg project.

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The strange story of Thomas Hardy’s heart

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Everyone should know the writer Thomas Hardy, famous for writing novels such as Tess D’Ubberville and several others.

This is a bit of a gruesome story but we are assured that it is true, which is perhaps even worse. Do not read it if you are very sensitive.

Being a successful author when he died in 1928 it seemed appropriate to bury him at Westminster Abbey along with other people in the fields of literature, politics or science. But Hardy was very attached to his homeland; Dorset and had asked to be buried in the small graveyard next to Stinsford church, which the writer has always frequented since he was a child. 

It was then decided to make a compromise, Hardy’s body would be buried at Westminster Abbey while the heart would remain in Dorset and buried in the church graveyard as the writer wished.

The village doctor made the delicate operation of removing the heart from the corpse, once removed he placed it wrapped in a cloth on the table. When he returned shortly after, he no longer found his heart but saw that his cat had stolen it and ate it.

He then decided to kill the cat that contained the heart and have it buried. The photos of Hardy’s heart funeral in fact show a container where the heart should have been, which was undoubtedly a little too big to hold a heart but just the right size to hold a cat.

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