Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel


Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Life Intended
Author: Kristin Harmel
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: ebook, 368
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Source: Netgalley
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Genre: Women's Fiction

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Fans of heartfelt stories that believe in dreams

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon BookLikes

After her husband's sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she's planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn't she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she's really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband's hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined
Have you ever had a dream so vivid you wake up believing that dream world exists? Or feeling the same emotions you felt in the dream? The Life Intended is a dream I didn't want to wake from. I was invested in Kate and her story and just wanted to know more.

After losing her husband, Kate has a hard time moving on despite the encouragement from her sister, best friend and mother. When she finds herself engaged almost twelve years after her husband's death, it becomes clear that she is not quite ready to move on. Cue the dreams.

This book is about following your dreams, and your instincts. I really enjoyed Kate as a character, she is flawed, hopeful, and just a little bit crazy. Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed Kate and how she grows into her own. Even at 40 she realizes that life can be unexpected and sometimes you end up where you never knew you were supposed to be.

It was very clear that the author had done her research regarding the foster system and has a basic understanding of therapy (music or otherwise) and that really helped bring the story to life for me. While I can usually forgive situations that aren't quite "realistic" (like people becoming foster parents overnight), it is really nice to read a story where I don't have to stop and fill in the blanks. Harmel does a wonderful job with balancing pertinent information with good story telling so it doesn't feel like I'm going to have to take a test when I'm done.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever suffered a loss and come out the other side. It is heart wrenching, heart warming and all around heart filled.


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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