#BookReview After The End by Clare Mackintosh

ABOUT THE BOOK

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning

PUBLISHED BY SPHERE

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK 

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

This was a very emotive story that cleverly explores the ‘what if’s’ around a married couple dealing with their terminally ill son but disagreeing on the course of treatment for him. The alternate storylines threw me a little bit when I first started reading them, but it soon made perfect sense in allowing the story to be told in this way and really added to your experience of reading as you’d put yourself in that position and wonder what you’d do in a similar position.

Max and Pip are a happily married couple who should be living life to the fullest with their son Dylan, but he’s in hospital with a brain tumour so his life is medication, tube feeding and being made ‘comfortable’. Pip is by his side constantly – her world is the hospital and the other parents and children on the ward – her husband is still working flying back to the US on and off, whilst still consumed by thoughts of his son. When the news about his condition worsens, the split in the outlook of Max and Pip becomes clear – what’s best for Dylan? How do you decide if you can’t agree? So a court case is the way forward…

The story then splits to the alternate timelines – what would happen if Pip got her way to let him die with dignity? and what would happen if Max got his wish to try new treatments in the US? This opens up a great insight into how life could turn out in both scenarios and really showed that there is no real right or wrong in such a tragic situation.

WE also get the viewpoint of Laila, a Dr working at the hospital and dealing with Dylan and how he impact affects her and I really liked seeing this different persepective from someone who has to deal professionally but can’t help but get emotionally attached.

It also brought to light the impact that the role of the media plays – how the public take sides in matters such as these – the abuse that the parents could receive from people who didn’t know all the facts but would make their minds up from what they read in the papers or saw on TV.

I was totally absorbed in this story and found the way the different outcomes were allowed to play out was quite refreshing in the way that it let you see the ‘after’ story evolve, often in ways I didn’t expect. A very moving story.

★★★★

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#BookReview The Secret To Happiness by Jessica Redland

ABOUT THE BOOK

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets… Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend. Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through… When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

published by BOLDWOOD BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

How have I let this author pass me by?! My first Jessica Redland book but definitely not my last and I’m already looking forward to catching up with the others she has written if this one is anything to go by! I found myself totally swept up in the lives of these women – cheering on their achievements, despairing with them at the down moments in their lives, and just wanting to meet up with them all and sharing a drink or two!

This is a book about 3 women – Karen, Alison and Daniella – who live very different lives but are brought together as only fate can determine and soon find themselves supporting one another in more ways they can ever imagine.

Alison is feeling trapped in her life with Dave – he was there for her at the beginning when she needed him, but now he’s constantly on at her about her weight (I have to admit to wanting her to thump him on more than one occasion!!) and taking her for granted. So she comfort eats to stop feeling so bad – and so the cycle of hate and pity continues. But one day she finds herself helping a jogger who has fallen over, and this new friendship spurs her on to make changes in her life.

The jogger she helps is Daniella – a very guarded woman who is hiding something but she’s not opening up to anyone – when she does eventually find the strength to talk about her past your heart just breaks for her.

And then there’s Karen – running a PT business with her other half, Ryan – she seemingly has it all, but there are cracks beginning to show and she’s another woman with a tragic past and the support of her new friends Alison and Daniella is a great comfort to her when she seems to attract a stalker and the walls start tumbling down around her.

I loved the support network on show in this story! The way the women were all there for one another – there was no judging, they were just there to cheer one another on and to lean on when needed. I did find myself getting a little infuriated by some of the decisions the women were making , but the more you found out about their pasts then the more it became clear why they were so willing to make certain moves.

None of the women were perfect and it was good to see them in real life situations and dealing with things in ways the reader could relate to and I found myself outraged and delighted in equal measures as certain situations played out! A proper uplifting read!!

★★★★

My thanks to Boldwood Books/Netgalley for the ecopy in return for a fair and honest review.