Review: The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

***!I can’t really say that this is a bad book. It’s just so depressing. I suppose people might think differently….that the dead wife comes to terms with her lot and everyone ends up being as happily ever after as possible….but the wife is still dead….so screw that….life doesn’t just happen because it’s fate and it was meant to….sometimes life just sucks…..

Okay….maybe I’m jaded. My pops died several months ago and I think it is still hitting me….I find myself thinking of him more often then not lately and I overwhelmed sometimes….maybe that’s why I disliked this book so much….but maybe it isn’t.

We’ve all been told and comforted by the thoughts of our loved ones watching over us….right? Well this novel really put that into perspective for me. However, it was no comfort at all. It’s horrifying. None of us are saints. Sure, some people will be saintly and be happy to know that our loved ones continue to live and move on from their grief. However….let’s be honest…..would you really like to watch your husband and daughter move on with their lives without you…..we’re not talking mythically….we are talking literally….

Because of my dad and the reasons that he died….I’ve been angry….I love him…not one bit less….but I’m pissed at choices he made and how those he left behind have to continue on without him….however….to think of him sitting there looking down and watching us suffer because of those choices…well, it makes me ill.

Yet, this is a novel where a dead wife is made to watch her husband and daughter move on in life without her….no matter how happy she is supposed to be…..it must be horrifying….

But to take it a step further….if we actually know that our loved ones are watching our every move….and not just the *romanticized* version of looking over us……well, I can’t even imagine how that husband could have coped.

I won’t go on….it’s obvious how this book made me feel. Maybe it will give someone else comfort. However it just depressed me. I will also note that although time elapsed 2 plus years in this novel, I didn’t feel as if the daughter aged at all. Her behaviour at the end seemed pretty spot on to what her behaviour was at the start…..I think the author got the behaviour correct at the start, but that the girl needed to progress….not how emotions or how she felt about her mum….or the new person in her life…..but just how she expressed it. She still acted like the 7-year-old at the start and not the almost 10 year old….although it’s not a huge age difference, the behaviour between the two ages for a young girl is huge….I also thought the added drama (no spoilers) that the new love interest shared of her life was unnecessary and was only added to gain sympathy votes from the reader….it had the opposite effect on me….I felt that the author tried to make this woman out to be absolutely perfect…..and really……no one likes perfection…..so although the whole subject was horrible, the author wrapped it all up in the disguise of happening to perfect people…it would have been much more interesting if at least one person got ugly and things got messy….instead everyone just gathered around at the end and sang Kumbaya…..

ummmm….no……that’s not for me……

Now that I’ve run my gob……Please don’t let my somewhat negative review put you off this book….it was a very personal read for me and one I might not be emotionally equipped for at the moment….then again, this book was utterly depressing for me…..the whole concept….before I started it, it seemed like it would be fascinating….but right from the start it was just so depressing…..so hey ho…there you have it….I can’t tell you if you should or shouldn’t…..but if you start it and find it depressing for the reasons I mentioned….well….don’t expect it to change by the ending….

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

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