From Publishers Weekly
Ahern, the mediagenic 22-year-old daughter of Ireland's prime minister, debuts with a sweet, sentimental tale of a young widow's trials and triumphs in the year after her husband's death. Soul mates Holly and Gerry married in their early 20s; when Gerry dies of brain cancer at 30, Holly is utterly bereft. But Gerry has a final gift: a series of letters, which Holly is to open on the first of each month from March to New Year's, and which will guide her on her journey from grief. Gerry correctly predicts that Holly will not have gone through his belongings by June, found a new job by September or considered falling in love again by December, but with his posthumous epistolary encouragement she does all those things. She also enters a karaoke contest, takes a beach vacation and dances at a holiday ball she'd always attended with Gerry. The months pass as close friends help prop Holly up; around her, a marriage falls apart, a couple gets engaged and a friend announces her pregnancy. Within her tight-knit family, Holly's youngest brother makes a revealing film of her birthday party, her elder brothers change places in her allegiance and her parents take in one stray grown child after another for stays short and long. Ahern's speed (she wrote the book in three months) and her youth do show-the wisdom in evidence owes much to Nicholas Sparks and Sophie Kinsella-and her prose is pedestrian. She boasts a natural storytelling talent, however, resulting in a compelling tale sparked by an unusual premise.
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Ahern, daughter of the Irish prime minister, writes a charming, heartfelt debut. At age 29, Holly Kennedy is reeling from the loss of her soul mate and husband, Gerry, to a brain tumor. Before he died, Gerry mailed her a packet of 10 envelopes, one for each month from March to December. The envelopes contain a list of things for Holly to do to help her get through the coming year and ultimately move on. The instructions range from tasks as simple as buying a new outfit to harder ones, such as going to the ball she used to attend with Gerry. Luckily, she has her best friends, Sharon, who is married to Gerry's best friend, and Denise, to help her through--until she realizes they are moving on with their lives and she isn't. Ahern herself might be all of 22 years old, but she has realistically captured the ups and downs of a woman whose life has fallen apart and how she picks herself back up and moves on, one step at a time. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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