Wednesday 26 February 2014

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

'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'm not sure I even know how to begin to describe this incredible, amazing, poignant novel by the super talented Hannah Beckerman. I have been looking forward to reading this one for ages and to have the chance to read was brilliant.

When we lose someone, we each go through different stages of the grieving process, but what about the grieving process of the deceased? How do they cope seeing their loved ones lives continue without them? This novel explores that idea with Rachel, as she has to watch powerlessly as her husband Max and her daughter Ellie have to cope without her, and how they manage to move on from the devastation of losing her.

This managed to feel close to home, but without it being difficult to read. I felt the loss, anger and resentment of all the characters in the different stages of grieving and what was happening around them. I could see each characters point of view and completely understand how they were feeling. It was almost as if I was going through exactly what they were experiencing and my emotions and opinions of characters changed so drastically throughout the book.

So compelling and immersive was this book, I really felt like one the characters in it and I found it extraordinary how much I learnt about life and myself whilst reading this. I have heard that this book has the potential to change people's lives and I can definitely see why. I know that I have taken some strong life lessons away from this.

I loved how completely different this was to anything I have ever read. It was completely unique and I think that was part of the reason I enjoyed this so much. There was also so much love in this story, particularly surrounding Rachel's daughter Ellie. It just made the novel all the more emotional and heartbreaking in places. I know that it is a novel that I will cherish.

Deeply moving, poignant and thought provoking, this is one of those must read books of 2014!


The Dead Wife's Handbook is available from Amazon UK and Waterstones


  1. That sounds like a really interesting concept. I will have to keep an eye out for the book.