Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.
When a misguided well-wisher tells her that “everything happens for a reason”, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she’s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.
Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results…
Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.
Everything Happens For A Reason is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.
Everything Happens For A Reason is an incredibly moving, poignant but uplifting story told with wit and honesty.
Firstly this was a difficult book for me to read in places as sadly I also lost a baby six years ago so have experienced a lot of what was mentioned in the book. There really is no pain like losing a child and you never really recover from it. I remember all to well people saying everything happens for a reason which with hindsight I understand they didn’t know what to say but at the time had me wanting to scream at them. I really felt for Rachel and everything she was feeling. In a strange way it also helped me as it was quite therapeutic to work through things alongside Rachel and to realise I wasn’t alone in feeling how I had.
This story is told through a series of emails that Rachel has written to her son which gives the reader access to everything that she is feeling. The author has cleverly managed to make the emails feel different from each other which I think helps describe Rachel’s state of mind. As you can imagine this makes for truly heartbreaking reading at times.
Although Rachel is the main character there are quite a few characters in the story, mainly members of Rachel’s family, who were interesting to learn about. They all have very different opinions on how Rachel should be dealing with her loss. My heart flipped as I read of people who thought she should just get on with it as again I remember similar attitudes from older members of my family in particular. I found myself getting very angry on her behalf and wish I could have somehow reached into the book to support her.
Emily’s journey to find the man she saved was both poignant and fascinating to follow. I found myself hoping that it would somehow help her but also knowing that it wouldn’t help completely heal her pain. I think this would be a great book for a book club read as there would be lots to discuss but I also feel it would be a good book for people to read to understand grief and to start to understand how to help the person grieving.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Karen from Orenda for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Everything Happens for a Reason is Katie Allen’s first novel. She used to be a reporter and columnist at the Guardian and Observer, and started her career as a Reuters correspondent in Berlin and London. The events in Everything Happens for a Reason are fiction, but the premise is loosely autobiographical. Katie’s son, Finn, was stillborn in 2010, and her grief and the experience of being on maternity leave without a baby inspired her main character. And yes, someone did say to her “Everything happens for a reason”. It didn’t propel her to borrow a sausage dog, but it was probably the kernel of this novel. Katie grew up in Warwickshire and now lives in South London with her husband, children, dog, cat and stick insects. When she’s not writing or walking children and dogs, she loves baking, watching comedies, reading news and wishing she had written other people’s brilliant novels. She also loves quiz shows and forcing friends to do quizzes and she wastes hours meandering on the web – but she put that to some use by appearing on the TV show Pointless with her brother Nick. If you like ginger cats and/or vain dogs you can follow Katie’s pets on Instagram (monkey_and_miko).