Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Review: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel, reviewed by Jessica


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

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Fans of "sliding doors" books, as well as any reader who loves a good cathartic cry.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

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.

*This was previously reviewed by Tina*


This book broke me. I started The Life Intended fully planning to finish it in one sitting. That didn't happen. Not because the book wasn't well written. It absolutely is. Not even because I couldn't love the characters or the story. Both of those items were instantly checked off my list after I'd finished the first chapter. No, this book took a long time for me to read because I couldn't stop crying. Every time I picked it up, and started to read, I'd start sobbing. I'm not talking teary-eyed, or even a few tears, I'm talking full out sobbing. Whew, kudos to Kristin Harmel.

For me, any book that deals with the death of a loved one is tricky terrain. It has to be done with a certain finesse, and feel realistic at the same time. With Kate, Harmel brought to life a character that I could understand and easily follow. A woman who had found the most perfectly imperfect man. Who truly believed that she'd grow old with that man, and that they had all the time in the world together. Except, they didn't. Watching Kate try to deal with her loss, watching her realize all the times that she took for granted, it hit hard right at the center of my being. This book didn't just pull at my heartstrings. It all out gutted me.

There are some beautiful messages in The Life Intended. Thoughts on living life, pursuing passions, and opening up your heart to the possibilities around you. Unlike most of the other "sliding doors" books that I've read, this one felt plausible. It felt like a story that I could get behind. Maybe it's just my sappy nature. Maybe it's because I know I've found my own perfectly imperfect man, and I'm realizing just how terrifying it would be to loose him, but I loved this.

All I know is, I'm going to do my best not to let the little moments escape. Thanks for that Kristin Harmel :). I don't even mind that I needed a box of tissues to finish this book. It was worth it.



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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