Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief. 

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her? 

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days. 

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again. 

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death. 

5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

Wow!! Rachel Higginson just blew me away with this book.  

I just finished reading The Five Stages of Falling in Love and at first I thought maybe I needed some time to recover from my emotions before writing this review but I just cannot stop thinking about it.  This is such a beautiful and emotional story that had me from the very start. 

Liz just lost her husband, the love of her life, her soulmate, the father of her four children.  She is trying to cope without him.  She is grieving not only for herself but also her children.  But at the same time she needs to be there for her four children.  She needs to keep living for them.  But all this is not easy when Liz herself can’t seem to cope with it all.  She loved Grady more than anything.  He was her life and living without him and moving on just does not seem possible.  Her kids are acting up, they miss their father, her house and her life seem to be a complete mess right now.  Then she meets Ben, her new neighbor next door. 

Ben knows a bit of her story from the neighbors and he sees how much she seems to be struggling.  He wants to help her for no other reason than to be a nice neighbor and a really good person.  Ben seems to be her savior over and over again when she needs it the most.  He helps her in so many ways and not because he is getting anything out of it but because of the simple fact that he is just a selfless and amazing man.  They slowly form a friendship and begin spending time together.  But at some point Ben wants more.  But he also knows what she has been going through, he understands her hesitation to take their friendship further.  He knows that he needs to be very careful with Liz and take his time.  He feels the connection between them and knows that they belong together but with patience and understanding he takes things slowly for Liz’s sake.  No matter how much she enjoys speding time with Ben, how much she feels the spark when he touches her or how amazing he is with her kids, she still feels the guilt.  She feels as if she is betraying her husband in some way. 

Ben is there to help her live again.  He makes her feel and she needs to realize that it is ok to love another man.  Her heart is big enough to love her deceased husband and Ben at the same time.  And moving on and living does not mean she is forgetting Grady.  I loved Ben.  He is in a word amazing.  There is really no other way to describe him.  He is caring, and kind and will do anything for Liz and her kids.  And what I love is that he only intentions are to just love Liz and her children and take care of them.  Nothing else.  He isn't trying to replace Gray in any way and completely understands her love for him.  He showed up at a time when Liz needed someone the most and he was the perfect person to show her how to love again.

I loved so many things about this book.  The prologue starts out with the last moment between Grady and Liz and oh my God how my heart just broke.  You see how deep their love for each other is and how passionate they are about each other.  And that moment at the end it just ripped my heart out.  But then we move on to 6 months later and the every day struggles that Liz is dealing with.  Taking care of her four kids like any mother would, but not having the love of your life by your side just makes it that much harder.  This is not just about Liz’s grief though.  Yes she lost her husband but her kids also lost their father.  And we see how his death not only affected Liz but her kids as well.  Grady was a father, a husband, a brother and a son.  And we see how his death affected those that loved him.  And that is what I loved!

The Five Stages of Falling in Love will make you cry, no doubt about it.  I found myself crying on more than one occasion. But it is not one of those really sad depressing ugly cries.  Don’t get me wrong there were moments that were sad, especially with Liz and her children but there are also some sweet moments with Ben that I just found myself crying and not even knowing why other than because it just touched me in some way.  There is a moment at the end where the tears kept flowing but to me it was such a defining moment in the book and I just could not stop the tears from coming.  This book is emotional and has touched me in so many ways.  It is one of those books that will stay with me.  I love second chance love stories like this one and let me say that Rachel Higginson wrote this story in such a perfect way.  It made you feel every emotion that Liz and her family went through.  As a mother and wife I cannot even imagine going through what they did.  But thought this this book I felt the heartache, the pain, the loss as if it was my own.  I wanted Liz to be able to open up her heart again.  She deserved it. And Ben he just captured my heart from the very beginning.  

This is a beautiful story about loss, love, and second chances.   It is a story about a young widow learning to cope with her grief and learning to move on from it.  It is a story that everyone should read.  It is touching, heartbreaking and beautiful all in one.  There are those moments that will just make your heart melt and make you smile.  There are also some tough moments but at the same time those moments will touch your heart.  But in the end Ms. Higginson manes to put the pieces of your heart back together and leave you with a smile on your face.  I was completely blow away.  This book will make you feel all of the feels!  I am not even sure this review does this book justice but will just say this.  Amazing, Amazing Job!!

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