The When Harry Met Sally star has turned the 1943 book into new film Ithaca, revealing the story of a family coping with life after death really touched her at a time when she was losing all hope about the future.

"Eventually, I suppose, it dawns on any parent that despite our best efforts to protect our children, they will suffer," she says in a statement obtained by WENN. "Childhood will end, death is certain and some lessons will be too harsh.

"This dawned on me right about the time I read William Saroyan's, The Human Comedy. I was the mother of a young son grappling with these fears and Saroyan's novel soothed me. Life is a comedy, he seems to say, despite the certainty of death. Life renews itself ferociously and everlastingly."

Jack Quaid, the "young son" Meg was so worried about as she read The Human Comedy, is now all grown-up and appears in the film alongside his mum and her longtime friend Tom Hanks, who plays her character's dead husband.

The film is set during World War Two and Meg insists the themes are still very relevant in 2016.

"This is a wartime movie, sadly relevant as we're living in a new kind of wartime," she adds. "The home front is no longer. There's a new front line, any time, any street, any museum, any cafe... I am a mother. Every soldier is a mother’s son. The movie can’t help but express a mother’s conviction that, as Saroyan puts it, 'the world’s gone mad... war is foolish even when necessary'."

"Hopefully, the movie, like the book, is quietly fierce, a dance between hope and doom. Hopefully, it resists both sentimentality and cynicism. And hopefully, by some little miracle, despite its being about death, it feels like life."