Beneath the Rainbow by Lisa Shambrook.
Genres: Young Adult, Friendship, Family
“It’s those silly dreams that keep us alive.”
Dreams define us, shape us and realise our potential…they make us who we are.
Freya won’t let death stand in her way. When she dies Freya knows she needs to move on, but is caught within her mother’s grief and the discovery of terminally ill Old Thomas. Finding she can affect the lives of those beyond her heaven she fights to reach her mother and wants to help Thomas realise his final dream. Meanwhile, her family finds her own list of goals and soon discovers that Thomas has a burning desire to ride a motorbike.
Freya intends to create a rainbow, the last item on her list, to reach her mother, but her pale arcs won’t achieve closure. She needs scarlet like remembrance poppies then sunset orange and sunflower yellow. She makes green like her willow and blue like daddy’s t-shirt. Finally conjuring indigo, the shade of deepening night and violet to match Purple Ted…
Beneath these colours will Freya reach her mother, wait for Old Thomas and be ready to move on?
Discover the importance of dreams and fulfilment in Freya’s heart-breaking and uplifting tale of grief, hope, triumph and joy.
Book Review ~ ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ by Lisa Shambrook ~ 5 Stars!
Wow, well what can I say about ‘Beneath the Rainbow’? I could quite easily fill a whole page of ramblings about how much I adored and treasure this book, and I still don’t think I’d even begin to express how wonderful this book is. I didn’t think it was possible to cry so much during one book. The last time that happened was when I was reading the last Harry Potter book, and being the book nerd that I am, I wrote a list of every character that died during its pages. Whilst ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ I had a similar experience, only this time it was reading Freya’s list and crying with happiness each time one of the items was completed on it.
This story is heartbreaking from the start, when young Freya dies in a tragic car accident, leaving behind her mother, father and baby sister Jasmine. I’m not a parent myself, but the way that Lisa Shambrook described the complete heartbreak and despair of Freya’s parents, made me feel as though I myself had lost a child. The emotions just seeped off the page, and carried me through the story making me unable to put the book down until I’d finished it. The writing style was so beautiful, melodic and just flowed so well that I felt like I was a part of the journey, and not just reading about it. The pace of the novel was also done to perfection. Reading about Freya’s journey to acceptance of her death, and her having to let go the guilt she feels for her parents despair was so rewarding, as it coincided beautifully with her parents acceptance, and how they began to remember the happy memories with Freya, rather than focus on her loss.
The storyline of Freya’s parents fulfilling a list that Freya had made as a child, was so wonderful to read, I cried so many times whilst reading this as I saw how completing every item on the list helped both Freya’s family and Freya herself move on and begin to see happiness in their future again. This storyline coincided beautifully with Old Thomas’ story as he fights looming death to spend as many happy times with his wife as possible. Freya’s desire to make a rainbow, and how this rainbow helped those she left behind had me sobbing like a baby.
There was so much about this story that spoke to me. The authors description of the children in their special place before they could move on was absolutely stunning, and I loved the concept so much. It gave me hope of something after death, which I feel is something that life can suck out of you at times. Lisa Shambrook’s world was a magical one, and I felt so happy that Freya was in a safe and happy environment whilst she waited to be ready to move on to whatever came next for her. I absolutely adored Jake’s character, and the romantic in me loved the hint of a future for them both, romantic of not, as Jake and Freya helped each other through their guilt and Jake waited for Freya once he’d moved on. It was truly a beautiful relationship, and I smiled with tears in my eyes as I read the chapter where they were together.
This was a true gem of a story, and I feel so changed for having read it. I saw the beauty of life through a child’s eyes and I know that I will treasure every day the more for it. Such an incredible, heart-warming tale that will stay with me forever.
5 Rainbow Coloured Stars!