Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ARC Review: Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

Pub. Date:July 24, 2018
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
Length:336 pgs

It seems like it's been a while since I've read Beth Harbison, so it looks like I have some titles to catch up on. And maybe a re-read of some old favorites like Hope in a Jar and Shoe Addicts Anonymous. This story is more in the realm of women's fiction than chick lit, which is not always my preferred genre, but good writing is good writing and I found that I didn't need the romance hook to draw me into this story.

Our heroine of this story is a grieving widow raising a teenage son. Willa lost her husband unexpectedly and way too soon, and for the last 3 years she has been lost in her grief, feeling sad and alone. She has lost touch with her teenage son, Jamie, who seems to be acting out in teenage rebellion. The story sees Willa returning to the beach house where her husband died, and they had many happy memories as a couple and family. Getting the house ready for sale is a kind of torture for Willa, especially when she begins seeing her dead husband, Ben, as emotions run high.

Willa was a sympathetic heroine, and though I couldn't relate to her, my heart certainly went out to her. I thought she handled the sightings of Ben well, and didn't go off the rails thinking herself crazy. I loved the Ghost feel to the story, and even could easily see Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze as lead characters. Ben's character alone added something unique to the story, and I liked the aura of peace he conveyed about the afterlife, and his surety they would be together again.

The POV for the story switched between Willa and Jamie. We see Jamie go from a rebellious teen to a more mature and understanding young man. I liked the person that he became. Watching he and Willa repair their relationship and come to terms with their grief was nice.

Overall, this story was in turns melancholy and uplifting. It was a well-written portrayal of grief and healing, that appealed to even me, a self-professed romance junkie. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

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