Saturday, 22 July 2017

This Beautiful Life - Katie Marsh

What happens when you get the second chance you never expected?

Abi is living her happy ending. She's in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance at life. But during Abi's illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi's survival playlist, this is the story of what happens next as Abi tries to rebuild her family. Can she bring the people she loves most in the world back together again... before it's too late?

This Beautiful Life is a deeply moving and poignant novel which reminds us why life, and love, are worth fighting for.

What did I think?

This book starts with a letter written by Abi to her husband John and son Seb, and I'm not ashamed to say it had me in floods of tears.  I readily admit that I usually cry at the end of books but to cry at the start was something new for me.  I was absolutely astounded at the level of raw emotion that has been poured into the opening pages of This Beautiful Life, but I dried my eyes and carried on as I knew from past experience that Katie Marsh had a beautiful story lined up for me.  

After dealing with the devastating news that she had colon cancer, Abi now gets the amazing news that she is in remission.  The future she thought she had lost is coming back into focus but a lot of things have changed whilst Abi has been ill.  Abi's husband John has gambled everything to help Abi get better and her son Seb is struggling with some powerful emotions of his own.  The past months have been all about Abi's cancer so as the three attempt to reconnect, it's the perfect time for honesty.  I knew they were strong enough to get through anything, although there are a few hairy moments!

Interspersed between chapters are songs from Abi's survival playlists; songs she has chosen for each of her loved ones with reasons why she has chosen them.  Abi has written in the sleeves of her CDs for her family and friends to find after she has gone.  Each note is so heartfelt that I both looked forward to it and dreaded it in equal measures, as I feared my tears would reappear at any moment.

It always astounds me how Katie Marsh manages to pour so much emotion into her books; her characters are so very realistic and they deal with real life situations with such poignancy and grace.  As I hurtled towards the end of the book, I prepared myself for whatever was coming and I have to say that, along with the whole book, the ending is absolutely flawless.

Katie Marsh is without doubt one of my favourite authors; the beauty in Katie's books is more than skin deep from the stunning covers to the beautiful words within.  Another poignant and outstanding novel from the pen of the super-talented Katie Marsh.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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