Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh

A Life Without You
By Katie Marsh
Published by Hodder Books (14 July 2016)
ISBN: 978-1473613652

Publisher's description
Can you ever outrun the past?
It's Zoe's wedding day. She's about to marry Jamie, the love of her life. Then a phone call comes out of the blue, with the news that her mum Gina has been arrested. Zoe must make an impossible decision: should she leave her own wedding to help?
Zoe hasn't seen Gina for years, blaming her for the secret that she's been running from ever since she was sixteen. Now, Gina is back in her life, but she's very different to the mum Zoe remembers. Slowly but surely, Gina is losing her memory.

As she struggles to cope with Gina's illness, can Zoe face up to the terrible events of years ago and find her way back to the people she loves?

My verdict
A Life Without You is a heartbreaking story of love, loss, tragedy and family secrets.

Zoe and her mother Gina haven't seen each other for years, after terrible events tore the family apart. When Gina is arrested on Zoe's wedding day, Zoe realises that her mother isn't the woman she remembers and maybe it's time for them all to face past mistakes.

A Life Without You focuses on early-onset Alzheimer's and its devastating impact. You can tell that the author, Katie Marsh, has had direct experience of this terrible disease by the way her characters struggle to cope. The book also portrays a damaged mother/daughter relationship and whether it's possible to forgive, forget and move on.

A Life Without You is carefully layered, with beautiful writing, very real characters and a tight plot.  In some places, it's funny and heartwarming. In others, it's sad and thought provoking. All of the writing is emotionally charged. The story tore at my heartstrings and left me in tears by the end.

I loved Katie Marsh's first book My Everything. A Life Without You is yet another book that makes you think about the future and how important it is to grab life by the horns and live it to the full when, and while, you can.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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