Author of tear-jerkers and emotional rollercoasters, Alice Peterson is back with a new book called ‘If You Were Here’.
When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’s things reveals a secret never told: Beth was sick, with the same genetic condition that claimed her father’s life, and now Peggy must decide whether to keep the secret or risk destroying her granddaughter’s world. Five years later, Flo is engaged and ready to pack up her life and move to New York with her high-flying fiancé. Peggy never told Flo what she discovered, but with Flo looking towards her future, Peggy realises it’s time to come clean and reveal that her granddaughter’s life might also be at risk. As Flo struggles to decide her own path, she is faced with the same life-altering questions her mother asked herself years before: If a test could decide your future, would you take it?
Alice Peterson is an author who is renowned for writing novels that will break readers hearts as well as staying with the reader long after reading the final page and her latest book is no different.
In this story we meet, Peggy and her granddaughter Flo, the pair of them have an extremely close bond after Flo’s mum called Beth suddenly passed away. It was only after Beth’s death that Peggy discovered that Beth was diagnosed with the terrible illness Huntington’s Disease. The same sickness that claimed her father’s life. Now, with this new knowledge, Peggy is trying to find the right moment to tell Flo that she might also be suffering from the hereditary illness. Flo is on the cusp of huge changes in her life, newly engaged and moving to New York, she is looking forward to her future, but it all falls down around her when Peggy reveals the news to Flo and there’s now a lot of uncertainty in her life.
From the very first page I was absorbed in this book, the multiple narratives through the multi generations give an insight into the illness and how it affected them all. The story is thoroughly researched and incredibly well written, as Flo is faced with a terrible decision, does she want to see if she has the illness or does she continues unaware.
Like Alice’s previous books, this book is another story that really strikes a chord with the reader. In this story, we meet a family who’s been heavily effected by Huntington’s. Once Flo knows the issue behind her mother’s death, she begins to put her own life into perspective and toy with whether she wants to know or not whether she has the illness as well. The story is seen through the narrative of Flo and Peggy, both terrified and unsure of the future. But Flo finds solace in her mother’s diary but also finds it daunting reading what her mother went through, knowing alone that she had Huntington’s.
Full of inspirational and heartwarming stories, this book is an uplifting and emotional story about the tragedy of Huntington’s and the impact that the terrible illness has had on lives. ‘If You Were Here’ is a compassionate and thought provoking story that really raises the awareness of Huntington’s disease and leaves the reader breathless on the final page of this life affirming story.
You can buy ‘If You Were Here’ from Amazon and is available from good bookshops.