Review : The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

 

The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.
Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.

 

My review :

** Copy provided by Mark My Words Book Publicity via NetGalley **

I couldn’t miss out the opportunity to ask for an ARC when I read the blurb!
5 words for this story : Heartbroken, powerful, emotionally loaded, painful, magnificent!

Reading Elizabeth journey’s through grieving, was such emotional. As I said earlier this one is emotionally loaded and from the first page, get ready to have a box of tissues near you because you can feel all the pain, sorrow reaching deep down her soul after her husband’s death.

Throughout the book, we follow Elizabeth into the five stages of grieving.
Totally overwhelmed and dying inside, unable to be in charge since she lost her soulmate, she was the the shadow of herself. She couldn’t manage her kids, doing her routine. She was stuck into incomprehension, reaching for her late husband, feeling him everywhere.
In her state of weakness, she couldn’t see how hard it was for her kids to be without her daddy. She refused to be helped, only by her sister and her brother in-law, even if she didn’t get along with her step mother.

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In her despair, she met her neighbor, Ben. What was interesting was how their relationship evolved along the story. In her denial, Elizabeth tried to close her heart to anyone, because se couldn’t bear to lose someone again, it would be too hard for her. Instead, she kept people at distance and preferred  living in her shell, bubble with her kids. But when one of her daughters went to Ben’s house, enjoying his pool, the wrecked woman she was totally freaked out because she didn’t see that her daughter were missing and she was being sassy with her. She showed how irrational she was at this time.

Ben’s character was a wonderful surprise. Even with his bachelor’s attitude, he was such an endearing character. Charming, helpful, caring, sweet, he was the man too « perfect » to be with. Gradually, he settled in her life, naturally. They became very good friends and Elizabeth was struggling about her feelings. What I found amazing was how the author could make us feel at the same time, all the pain ,sorrow for Elizabeth and even we didn’t have his POV, we can feel how much Liz meant to him. But he wouldn’t scared her away and did whatever it takes to be with her and her kids, even if she was in complete denial, in tune with her different stages of grieving.

Everyone around her could feel all the love he had for her, the way he acted with the kids, being an important part, more that she could except. But letting someone in, especially in her heart wasn’t at first impossible and felt like a betrayal to her dead husband, in-laws and herself.
It wasn’t easy for her, fearing being judged for moving on, and she wasn’t ready, it was too exhausting, too soon. They didn’t choose to fall in love, and especially Ben, who was knocked out from their first encounter, and let’s be honest smitten.

That story really moved me and making progress in it and see how her and kids were hurting, trying to maintain them out of the water. I loved her kids and how they reacted. They weren’t easy and each of them grieving in their own way. All they wanted was to be happy, seing her mother happy too, smiling again.They accepted Ben before she acknowledged him.
I really loved this story and the intensity emanating through Liz’s journey. She bared her soul and sometimes she had hard words, almost mean to Ben but she was struggling. And that man fought for her, wanted to be with her and her family if she let him be. She had an inner battle and couldn’t get through this.

When she came to the final stage, she realized that there’s more to life than death, that she could let her heart loving two men, and that Grady would always have a place in her heart, that she could leave and breathe again. Ben was such a rock, taking all that she could get from her, wanted to support her into hard times, to be the one she could rely on.

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This story is a must read and you’ll be under the spell of Rachel Higginson’s writing. She told us a story which was just magnificent, beautifully written, putting words which went straight to the heart!
This story was so much more than a love story, it was about a woman trying to grieve after her soulmate’s death and how she get through it.
I was trapped into it, and I had just a little disappointment here : I wanted for the last pages Ben’s POV because it would be relevant to have his side of the story too!

 

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More about Rachel Higginson : http://www.rachelhigginson.com/

          

 

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