Book Review : The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman
Title : The Dead Wife's Handbook
Author : Hannah Beckerman
Publication Date : 13 February 2014
Publisher : Penguin
Source : Sent by the publisher (and signed by Hannah! Thanks!)
Overall : 5/5
'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.
The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman has been listed as one of the books in my Books I Cannot Wait For (2014) list! This lovely book has a very gorgeous cover and I have a matching cloth that looks almost the same! The pink and green combo is perfect! I always wanted to redecorate my room and I read somewhere, the two colours go very well together! I can’t stop touching the book when it arrived (I thought it went missing!) and started on it as soon as I finished the book I was reading. A massive thank you to Hannah and her awesome publicist, Katie Sheldrake at Penguin for sending me a copy for this fabbbbb (the extra Bs are for emphasis) debut novel! Some other book bloggers and I have been talking about this book long before its publication day and it was like a virtual party on Twitter! I just couldn’t hold it longer and I need to tell you how awesome peasome it is!
As you can tell from the blurb, Rachel is the ‘Dead Wife’ and she has left a year ago when her heart stopped beating. Like a life after death, she has the ablity to see what is going on in the living world. Her husband, Max and lovely child, Ellie struggle to live life without Rachel. Rachel can only watch from where she is and unable to help them. Encouraged by friends and family, Max begins to start dating again and she feels as though she is out of their lives for good.
When I finished this book, all I could think is how enjoyable this book has been. I went through a whole range of emotions and didn’t know how to write this review as my laptop went nuts all out of sudden (it’s back now!). I just can’t seem to find the right words to describe how I feel about this book as it’s so good and different from what I have read before. It’s like meeting The One. I felt that way mainly because the main character in this book is not alive. It’s my first time reading a story written from the POV of a dead character. I have always imagined if there would be life after death and if we could feel or remember our loved one when we’re dead and Hannah has given readers an insight of how afterlife would be. Every emotion was greatly portrayed and I could feel them oozing out from the pages.
It’s a page-turner and I could absolutely understand what Rach was going through. It must be tough for her to witness her husband with another woman and Ellie to live life without her. It’s just some feelings you can’t stop yourself from feeling though you know it’s selfish. Sometimes, we hope for our loved ones to move on but to be honest, it’s always easier said than done. This book made me weep and think of the inexpressible love we felt for the people around us. We tend to love and think about all the great times with them when they are no longer with us. How we wish to share every moment with them, make more memories and hope those good moments would stay with them forever and be remembered. We often think it’s existence that matters but to think of it, if we didn’t appreciate and live life to the fullest, what memories would we leave behind and what would people remember us for?
Well, I am making this book a sad read. Well, it’s not all sad, there were certainly some cheerful moments that made this book much more enjoyable. I loved Rachel’s daughter, Ellie! She’s definitely the star of this story and she made me think of my niece and her out-of-the-box questions. Adorableness!
All I can say is, The Dead Wife’s Handbook is not your average tearjerker! Very original idea, a story with deep meanings and Hannah’s writing style is impeccable. The Dead Wife’s Handbook is a perfect blend of grief and unconditional love. No doubt, it will move hearts of many.
Do follow the lovely Hannah (@hannahbeckerman) on Twitter!