Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…
Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.
So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.
But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…
A moving and bittersweet story of a family, its endings and beginnings. Sylvia is dying and her children are still young, her husband doesn’t know all the ins and outs of their routines, what their favourite foods are, the fact she keeps a double of their daughter’s stuffed toy hidden away.
So she writes to him, she reminds him of their beginnings, of the births of their children, of how they started out, to ease the pain of saying goodbye.
This was so painful to read but at the same time so tender and full of love that I couldn’t put it down. It lingers with you, the reader, that total love of a mother for her children, a wife for her husband.
She also writes letters to her mother and sister, keen to repair the cracks in their relationships, knowing her children will need them as they navigate a motherless existence.
This is an incredibly impressive debut novel, full of heart and incredible depth of feeling.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.