The Life You Left Behind by Debbie Howells
One missed flight.
It only takes a moment to change a life.
One year ago Casey Cassidy was happy.
She had great friends, a wonderful teaching job and a busy life – until with one missed flight, everything changes.
One year later Casey knows what it means to find that once-in-a-lifetime love people dream of.
But when Ben leaves, her heart is shattered.
Left facing a year of firsts without him, piecing her life back together seems impossible.
But then a friend offers her a home in rural France.
In the solitude and emptiness, Casey needs to come to terms with what’s happened and find a way to move forward.
She has no idea where that will take her one year later…
What was it all about
Ben and Cassie were the perfect couple who knew they were soulmates. Yet, in less than a year, Ben left her.
And Cassie had to glue the pieces of her heart and accept the truth of the situation. Sometimes love was just not enough.
How it made me feel
Seeing Cassie dealing with her grief made my heart wrench with emotions I really didn’t want to face at this moment of my life.
Their moments of love were beautiful as well as bittersweet, knowing that secrets still abounded between them. Some of them were too difficult to deal with.
The writing held the pain within in without going overboard. Even in her moving forward, there was those lingering moments of pain.
Grief and mental health were interwoven in the story which led me feeling so sad for Ben and Cassie. Environmental issues and how earth was hurting were dealt within the fiction.
Cassie’s group of friends were so loving and supportive. I would have loved to have such friends around me when life was tough. This group was simply so understanding. I was in awe and burning in envy too.
I knew the story was going to be emotional as the blurb had a critical review asking me to keep tissues ready. But I didn’t expect to be slammed down by so much of it. Some of them felt overwhelming.
The book was ideally meant to be about flying high on the wings of hope. But I couldn’t find my wings after reading so much of this. I wanted a book that made me fly, but I got prose that made me feel worse than what I started out with.
There was hope written in, but for me, it was not enough. There was just too much pain and tears. I had lost whom I thought to be my soulmate, and this book didn’t give me the hope that I would find my way around life. It might not be so for you.
The first half was better; the second was all about inhuman farming practices and how the earth was slowly getting destroyed by selfish humans. The clarity of a love song was lost in it.
A good attempt to write a women’s fiction which dealt with important life circumstances but needed more hope within its words.
Publication Date: February 2022
I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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