Thursday, 12 June 2014

" The Life You Left " by Carmel Harrington

Thanks to the author for supplying and advance readers copy in return for an honest review........

Sarah Lawlor receives an e-mail that may change her life.  Her husband has decided he needs space and has left no details as to his whereabouts or his intentions.  Left to manage on her own with three young children, she contacts her twin brother, James, with the news that not only is her husband gone AWOL, but that a visitor from her past has turned up unexpectedly.  When James hears the name Edward, he rushes to his sister's aide as the memories of Edward's previous visits are not all good.

Edward is a guardian angel and only Sarah can see him.  He caused some trauma for Sarah during her childhood and she is very shaken up by his return.  It seems he is there with some messages for her and her dreams begin to fill with images connected to the murder of a local primary school teacher.  What is she meant to do with all this information? How can she help? Where is her husband?  The story guides us through the surreal world that Sarah is living and makes us question if we all have someone watching over us.......

Having read Carmel Harrington's debut novel, "Beyond Grace's Rainbow", I was lucky enough to host an author evening with her, here at Bleach House.  We got on like a house on fire and have remained friends since.  I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this new novel and the day arrived last week.  I was a bit nervous to start with as often a second novel can disappoint and I really didn't want this to be the case.  I need not have worried.  Carmel has once again used her talent as a women's fiction writer, with a heart, and created another wonderful set of characters in this unusual tale.  Sarah has had a lot of s**t thrown at her, over a short period of time, and she manages to hold things together while still being there for her children.  Her husband, Paul, is a man I cannot identify with.  I'm sure there are many couples out there who are struggling but for a man to just head off, with no warning, leaving his three kids with not even a goodbye, is just the lowest of the low.  However, Sarah's twin brother, James is her rock.  He is there for her from the start and understands her more than anyone, having witnessed the fallout from Edward's visits years earlier.  He is funny, charming and great with the kids.  Everyone should have a James!  Edward does not play as big a role as I had anticipated and it is more Sarah's dreams that lead the story.  A host of cute characters included along the way are endearing and compliment Sarah's overall good nature.  Carmel's love and understanding of young children is evident as she creates very sweet sections devoted to Sarah's children, just as she did in her previous novel.  

The Life You Left is a warm, uplifting novel about change, trust and instinct.  A cross between Celia Ahern and an episode of Medium, it will have you looking over your shoulder to see if there's someone watching your back..........

A perfect summer read, grab the sun hat, a glass of wine, get out into the garden and enjoy!

The Life You Left is published by Harper Impulse on 19th June and is available to pre-order now.


  1. I can't wait to read this book and have already pre-ordered it. It sounds fantastic. Great review!

  2. I'm looking forward to attending the launch and getting a signed copy there :)


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