Imagine you find a scrunched up piece of paper that obviously has some sort of picture printed on it.
You think you know what it is from the small bits you can see but it is only as you carefully unfold it and iron out each crease that the full, detailed image becomes clear.
That’s exactly what reading A Life Without You, Shari Low’s brilliant new book, felt like to me.
Each gripping chapter revealed just a little bit more – with a fair few surprises along the way.
Here’s the blurb:
Dee and Jen have been best friends since their days of teenage crushes, bad 90’s make-up and huge hair.
They’ve passed every milestone of their lives together and now in their thirties own a successful boutique, sharing a bond that is as strong as the closest of sisters.
Until one day everything changes.
Dee is gone, killed by a reckless driver, leaving Jen to face the harsh reality of a world without her.
Jen vows to honour Dee’s dreams and take care of everything and everyone she loved.
Until she realises that sometimes the only way forward is to let go of the past.
The book starts off at a cracking pace and never really lets up. Part of that is because, while it’s written in the first person, it switches between Jen, Luke (Dee’s husband) and Val (Dee’s mum) and that helps give it its energy – not to mention makes it nearly impossible to put down.
There are so many heartbreaking moments but also lots of heartwarming ones too.
An experienced author, it’s clear Shari Low is a talented writer who obviously puts a lot of work into her characters as they all seemed very 3D – so much so I wanted to reach out and hug them all at different points.
It is a great, very true to life, tale – one which deserves all the praise I’ve already seen being heaped upon it.
My rating: Five stars.
With thanks to publishers Aria (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.