Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her? Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days. When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again. As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Liz is a 32 year old mother of 4 who has lost the love of her life after her husband succumbs to cancer. She is left to do alone what she was promised to share with a partner. Raising her kids and getting through daily life is made even harder as she attempts to deal with her near crippling grief. She gets a new neighbor, Ben, who starts to become an important part of her life. As Liz tries to move forward with her life, she struggles with feelings of grief, and betrayal even as she starts to find love again.
This is a very emotional read, and I found myself quickly engaged with these characters. It is easy to relate to Liz and understand the complexity and variety of emotional that would need to be dealt with after suffering through the loss of her husband. There are many supportive people in her life, and it was touching to see how Grady's was something that affected many people. I like that the author didn't sugar-coat any part of the situation, and even though an absolutely perfect man was placed in Liz's path there was no insta-love to rescue her from her pain and suffering. Ben is pretty spectacular, and if there is any flaw to him, it is that he is without flaws. Sexy, smart, fun, and the patience of a saint. And more than anything else, he is who Liz needs him to be before he seeks to have his own needs met. I enjoyed watching their relationship progress from friendship to more, and was hoping that they would both find the relationship they deserve. I've read and enjoyed some of this author's young adult books, and after reading this, i won't hesitate to seek out other books by her in the future.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
About Rachel Higginson