Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life - until the night Rachel's heart stopped beating. Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can't forget her, Rachel can't quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

I was worried about reading this book at this moment in time, today is the day that a year ago I lost the most amazing woman in my life and so reading about the loss of a loved one from both sides was going to be rather challenging for me, but because I had heard so many people commenting on how great this book was I had to give it a try.

Rachel had a perfect life with her beautiful little family but her heart stopped beating and so she was taken from her family at such a young age. Leaving behind a loving husband Max and a gorgeous little girl Ellie is heart-breaking itself but Rachal gets to watch both Max and Ellie over time as they begin to come to terms with Rachels death and begin to move on, trouble is it isn’t only Max and Ellie who are struck by grief and needs to move on but so does Rachel.

I cannot believe that this is a debut book, the writing style is fantastic and flawless. I am always a little put off by books told from a dead characters point of view as usually they just feel either so unrealistic bordering on silly or very morbid, this wasn’t the case at all with this book if anything it felt a little too believable and really got me thinking how I would feel if I was Rachels character and so it started pulling at the heart strings.

What works well in this book is that it is divided up into the different stages of grief we go through Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing and Acceptance and this works from both Rachel and from Max and Ellie’s points of views which feels strange thinking that someone who has passed can also grieve. As you can imagine just from the stages of grief alone this is an emotive read but for me it wasn’t so much about the emotion it was more about how thought provoking this book was, I constantly found myself putting myself in both Max and Rachels situation to see if I would feel or act the same.

Ellie is an adorable character and she is going through something no young girl should have to experience. Her character was very well written, there was no whiny babyish talk and she still had so much love and loyalty for her mum. I also loved Max but at times I was shocked by some of his actions.

This was a beautiful read that I thoroughly enjoyed and if this is just the beginning of this authors writing then I very much look forward to see what else this author has to offer.

Kindle            Paperback

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