The Dead Wife’s Handbook
By Hannah Beckerman
Published: 13th February 2014
The end was just the beginning…
‘Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.’
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.
As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.
I bought this book after I saw all the rave reviews on different blogs. I love finding new books based on blog reviews, and I was definitely not disappointed. I normally don’t comment on the cover, but I found this one is beautiful – lovely and colourful. This will be another rave review, without a doubt.
This book reminded me of one of my favourite reads, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, in the sense, that it is narrated by someone in an afterlife. This concept immediately grabbed me, as I find it really interesting. I’m fascinated with reading different versions of ‘heaven’. I was fascinated with this one. I liked that Rachel was able to see snippets of those she left behind, and watched them deal with their loss. I liked that they were snippets, and that we never knew what we were going to see next.
I loved that this book was separated into the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. It really helped the pace of the book, I was engaged throughout. I went on this journey with the characters, and was moved hearing Rachel’s memories of her family. As this book is quite moving, I felt I couldn’t steam through it. It’s a book that I think you’ll need to dedicate some time to, and I know I wanted to savour each chapter.
I love the characters in this book, especially Rachel. I found myself really connecting with her. I felt every emotion with her, and watched over her family with the same love she felt for them. I’m not a mother, but this book plucked at my maternal instincts, and I felt just a protective over her family as she did.
Little Ellie was adorable, at times I thought her voice was older than she was, but for some reason I imagined her younger than she is. In the end, I think that added to her character, she’s had to deal with so much, so young, it’s bound to mature her.
I found this book really moving, I was bawling my eyes out at times. It’s a beautifully written novel. I found the novel thought provoking, and it made me think about the footprint I’m leaving behind, and the people I’d leave behind. I’ve lost people in my life, and I found this book was comforting.
My copy has already been lent to my mum to read. I would recommend this to everyone, and especially to people with children. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh, and it’ll make you think. I’m excited to see more from this author, as her debut was mesmerising.
You need to give this book a read. It’s truly wonderful.
If you’d like to get yourself a copy: Amazon link