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I Wanted You To Know By Laura Pearson

I Wanted You To Know‘I Wanted You To Know’ is the latest book by Laura Pearson.

Jess never imagined she’d be navigating single motherhood, let alone while facing breast cancer. A life that should be just beginning is interrupted by worried looks, heavy conversations, and the possibility of leaving her daughter to grow up without her. Propelled by a ticking clock, Jess knows what she has to do: tell her daughter everything. How to love, how to lose, how to forgive, and, most importantly, how to live when you never know how long you have.

I spent this morning with my head in this book and towards the end, I could barely see the words for the tears, as this book is such a genuinely heartbreaking story.

It’s seen through the narrative of Jess, at twenty one years of age, is told that she’s dying of cancer. Having to deal with this news as well as cope with being a new mother, she writes letters to her little girl to tell her about her mother that she wouldn’t know, as well as offer advice for the times that she’s not around.

Beautifully written, the story evokes such emotion throughout. As a cancer survivor, Laura writes from experience about her time and gives an insight into the illness and the trauma of it.

The story really tugs at the heartstrings and is such a powerful piece of writing. As Jess reflects on the life that she has led and the life that she will be leaving, it’s hard not to feel emotional whilst reading the letters that she writes to her daughter, Edie.

A heartfelt and honest story, ‘I Wanted You To Know’ is a story, that really stays with the reader long after you’ve reached the final page and has you pulling your loved ones in for an extra hug.

You can buy ‘I Wanted You To Know’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes By Anna McPartlin

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is the latest book by Anna McPartlin.

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end…Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen. Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

I met Anna McPartlin at a Penguin Ireland event a few years ago and I really warmed to her, I loved her sharp wit and her cynical view towards life. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ was the first book that I read by her and as I thought when I read the synopsis of the story, I was heartbroken and in bits at the end.

The story starts with Rabbit being left at the hospice with her mother, Molly. After years of battling cancer, the illness has taken over her body and the hospice is there to make her last remaining days as comfortable as possible. The story is seen through the narrative of all the characters, Rabbit, her parents Molly and Jack, her 12 year old daughter Juliet, Rabbit’s brother and sister, Grace and Davy and Rabbit’s childhood best friend Majorie. Together, they all have to deal with the Rabbit’s impending death and the void that the bubbly and outspoken woman will leave behind as well as who will take over the duty of becoming Juliet’s guardian.

Each chapter contains perspectives of the various characters as they struggled with the realisation that they are about to loose someone who means the world to them. Molly and Jack refuse to give up on the Rabbit and Molly believes through her faith, they will find a cure for her and neither Jack or Molly can live with the thought that they outlive their daughter. Davy and Grace, Rabbit’s older siblings and they are amongst the people, who want to take on Juliet, but the 12 year old is unaware of the extent of her mothers illness, she thinks that she can care for Rabbit just like she did with previous times. A lovely inclusion in the story is the character Johnny, who was Davy’s best friend and was Rabbit’s first love. From a young age, she idolised the young musician and with the chapter he is featured in, we see Rabbit develop and mature from a gawky little girl into a strong and dynamic young woman who is admired by many.

This book is a heartbreaking story that will tug at the hardest of hearts, just as the title says, the book is indeed about the last days of Rabbit Hayes and as I got closer to the end, I found myself slowing down so I could enjoy the wit of the Hayes family as well prolong the sheer heartbreak that would be Rabbit’s death. Anna has been described as the female equivalent of Roddy Doyle and I could almost certainly agree with this statement, as with very sad moment there is a sharp witty comment there to soften the blow. One scene in particular that is quite tender, is when Rabbit asks for the family and her friend Majorie to be present so that she can talk about her funeral, this is a heartbreaking scene, as everyone has to face up to the fact that Rabbit will die soon, but in this sad scene, Anna has included funny dialogue and wit, that through the tears of it, I found myself giggling along.

Beautifully written from the very start, this book is an emotional roller-coaster story, filled with touching and poignant moments and the welcome inclusion of humour to lighten the dark scenes. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is a touching book about family love, treasuring each moment and I won’t forget it for a long time, I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with this book.

You can buy The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted by Claire Allan

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

“What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” is the sixth book by Northern Ireland author, Claire Allan.

Kitty Shanahan. proprietor of The Dressing Room, is very much in love with love but with one simple routine phone call, her perfect life is turned on its head. It’s not easy to help hopeful brides choose their dream dress for their big day when you own heart is in pieces. And it’s hard to know who you can trust when the man you trusted most of all in life suddenly disappears.

Journalist Erin Brannigan knows exactly where the love of her life is. Paddy her fiancé who is battling cancer suddenly turns into Groomzilla planning their forthcoming wedding to the very last detail. When Erin is challenged by her bosses to write about her wedding, Paddy’s cancer and the man who first broke her heart, Erin finds herself caught up in a whirlwind which spins her life far out of control.

Thrown together in the dressing room of the bridal shop, Kitty and Erin find themselves caught up in each other’s lives and wondering if broken hearts can ever be mended.

I have read all of Claire Allan books and to be honest, I felt “What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” has to be her at her very best. From the start I thought it was an riveting book that I seemed unable to put down.

Told as a dual narrative through the eyes of kitty and Erin, it was fascinating to see them both at the most troubled stages of their lives and although they were strangers provided unlikely shoulders for each other to lean on. I found the characters to be genuine interesting people that I actually began to care about them and pray that they would find their happy ever after.

I like that from the very start, Claire introduced us to the problem, with the simple introductory line “The bomb dropped at 4.17p.m. on a Thursday” this line was so powerful and captivating, that immediately I was hooked! This power remained throughout the story, as both Erin and Kitty tackled the problems that had held them back such as insecurity, heartache and illness.

As the story is set in Northern Ireland, I liked the snippets of scenery, culture and colloquialism that I discovered that I often said myself which occasionally made me smile in the regular banter of the sisters and friends of both Kitty and Erin.

“What Becomes of The Broken Hearted” is a wonderfully written and heartfelt story of discovering love, recovering from heartbreak and is definately Claire Allan at her best.

You can buy What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? on Amazon and is available from good bookshops.