Friday, 31 March 2017

Book Review - A Life Without You by Shari Low - #AroundTheUKIn144Books #Glasgow

Amazon UK
Title: A Life Without You
Author: Shari Low
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 1st April 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Touching, funny, and bittersweet, this is a story that will make you laugh, cry, and call your best friend to tell her you love her.

Dee and Jen have been best friends since their days of teenage crushes, bad 90's make-up and huge hair. 

They’ve passed every milestone of their lives together and now in their thirties own a successful boutique, sharing a bond that is as strong as the closest of sisters.

Until one day everything changes. 

Dee is gone, killed by a reckless driver, leaving Jen to face the harsh reality of a world without her. 

Jen vows to honour Dee’s dreams and take care of everything and everyone she loved. 

Until she realises that sometimes the only way forward is to let go of the past.

Well the opening chapter was certainly incredibly dramatic, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the action, even though the end result was devastating. From then on the whole story navigates around a family and friends that are coming to terms with the tragic death of Dee, who even in the memories, often added the boost to chapters, she was larger than life, and full of laughter and love. 

The main living character in the book is Jen, who was Dee's best friend. She is pretty much part of the family, as Dee's parents have been surrogate parenting Jen since their teens. Jen and Dee were barely ever parted as they worked together, and with their respective other halves often went out or away as a foursome. They were incredibly close, but that isn't the only loss that Jen is dealing with...let's just say she spent too many years of her life with an incredibly insensitive <insert rude word here!>

Then there is Val, Dee's mum, who is bereft and not even having her son Mark, back from Australia for an extended period of time, is helping her grief. She isn't just upset though, but angry, and there are some moment of absolutely almost madness from her that if it weren't for the circumstances would be hilarious. 

The other main perspective we get is of Luke, who is now widowed and no idea what to do with his life. Understandably he has lost the love of his life, but with almost indecent speed he already has offers if he is lonely. 

Although there is a great deal of emotion in this book, there are also humorous moments, in addition to hope for the future of these characters as time progresses. I felt like by the end that I could have been one of Val's children, I had that much love for her. If you are looking for funny bits then Josie and Ida are the characters to look out for. Josie especially is a rock for the family, has the uncanny knack of knowing what to say and generally feels a bit outrageous! 

 A Life Without You is a wonderful bittersweet story, full of grief but just the hints of new beginnings. The book has been written beautifully and I really enjoyed the whole story. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Aria for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 


  1. The premise of this book sounds really good.

  2. I read Temptation Street a few years ago by Shari and really liked it...this sounds like something I'd like too!


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