The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need…
Tell the children I love them.
It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the pack lunches and juggling baby Ella’s feeds.
There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.
Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her children’s questions about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate.
But it turns out she isn’t quite as alone as she thought she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks she’s finally been thrown a life line.
There’s just one problem with Edward: no one else can see him.
Edward is an angel. And he has a message for Sarah that will change her life and the lives of others forever. For it is only in the most difficult of times that Sarah can discover how strong
she truly is.
Set in a small coastal village on the beautiful Irish coast, The Life You Left is a story of redemption and the strength of love.
Book Review ~ ‘The Life You Left’ by Carmel Harrington ~ 5 Stars!
It was the honesty in which the synopsis of this book was written that really drew me in, and I just knew that this book could really be something special. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult and new adult books recently, and was looking for an adult novel which I could read, to bring me back into the adult romance genre. I expected it to be an adjustment for me to read a book that wasn’t heavily romantic, but Carmel Harrington didn’t for one second have me thinking that I had nothing to relate to in the story, as she melded together so many different elements of real, and fantasy life, so flawlessly, that I just didn’t want the book to end.
Sarah was quite frankly, one of the most relatable and fantastic heroines in a contemporary novel that I have ever read. Her strength just awed me from the first page, when we see the devastating shock she has when her husband leaves her and their children with only an email, no money, or assurances that he will return. She was a pillar of strength for her three children, and always put them first, refusing to sink under the pain of her husband’s abandonment and doing her best for her children, despite her heartbreak. Sarah is been put firmly on my list of all time favourite heroines, and my god, does she deserve such a title.
What really set this story aside from others in its genre was the absolutely stunning writing style, and the beautiful way that Carmel Harrington depicted Sarah’s relationship with her twin brother James. She managed to pull off an amazing feat by having Sarah’s hero be her brother rather than a love interest, and I adored all the scenes they had together, as well as the scenes where we see James put his sister before the romantic conquests in his life. It was truly a beautiful, beautiful relationship, which I hope gets the credit it deserves.
The added fantasy/paranormal elements of the return of Sarah’s childhood friend, her guardian angel Edward, added another extraordinary layer to the story which added suspense to the crime storyline, and a really fascinating insight into the paranormal world, something that is becoming more and more popular as a belief in the modern world. This alongside the crime storyline had me sitting on the edge of my seat in suspense and I just couldn’t stop reading until I knew what had happened.
I loved the different layers of this story, and how there were a number of different characters who took centre stage at different times. Sarah’s storyline where she tries to accept the breakdown of her marriage and how her husband Paul had previously cheated on her with his new partner, was something that really had me in limbo when it came to Paul’s future, and whether I felt he deserved to find happiness and have the chance to be a father to his children after the way he left them behind with little apology. Carmel Harrington pulled this off beautifully, and really shows the true extent of her talent as an author.
5 stars and a definite recommended read.
*Review Copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*