The Life You Left Behind by Debbie Howells
One missed flight.
It only takes a moment to change a life.
One year ago Casey Cassidy was happy. She had great friends, a wonderful teaching job and a busy life - until with one missed flight, everything changes.
One year later Casey knows what it means to find that once-in-a-lifetime love people dream of. But when Ben leaves, her heart is shattered.
Left facing a year of firsts without him, piecing her life back together seems impossible. But then a friend offers her a home in rural France.
In the solitude and emptiness, Casey needs to comes to terms with what’s happened and find a way to move forward. She has no idea where that will take her one year later...
|The Life You Left Behind by Debbie Howells
This is a powerful book, one that left me needing a moment to absorb all I had read. It is about loss and grief, but it is also about love, friendship and kindness.
We follow Casey through two tumultuous years of change in this dual timeline novel; the year she meets Ben and her first year after he has left her. The spark of a new romance and the excitement of discovering that special someone, contrasting against the dark days of loneliness and feeling lost. So much has changed, she is unable to go back to where she was just a year before, but she is equally as uncertain about where her future lies. I really enjoyed the way the past and present are interlinked and the slow reveal this gives to exactly what did happen to Casey and Ben.
With so many layers woven into this book, it creates a strong plot, with depth and emotions that left me quietly contemplating the bigger questions in life. It enriched my mind and my soul – powerful words for a book review, but it is a powerful read that touches on issues like grief and loss, but also gently maps out the journey, understanding and change that comes from losing someone special. Many emotive subjects are treated with a sensitivity that will hopefully help readers understand and be more aware. I learned a lot reading this book.
Casey’s journey is interlaced with that of her friends, and it is the power of friendship and its love that I felt strongly as I was reading it. It also raises important questions about the planet, the way we treat it, and how we interact with each other. Seeing as I only tend to pick up the blog tours where books have a link to France, I am so glad that author Debbie Howells chose a remote cottage in France as the peaceful haven Casey needed to escape to. To think I could have missed this book if Devon or Spain had been used instead – it was a sign and I like signs.
The Life You Left Behind is a beautiful read that I really hope you will enjoy and get as much out of as I did.
While working as long-haul cabin crew in her twenties, Debbie trained as a pilot and qualified as a flying instructor. But as the mother of two small children, she wanted a career she could fit around them and started a wedding flower business, Country Flowers. For thirteen years, Debbie created the natural, seasonal designs she became known for to venues throughout the South East.
It was towards the end of this time she started writing, in a notebook in the shade of her garden on her days off, self-publishing three women’s fiction novels, the third of which, Wildflowers, almost but not quite found her a literary agent.
Pursuing her dream of a traditional publishing deal, she went on to write her first psychological thriller, the Sunday Times bestseller, The Bones of You. Four more have followed including the e-book bestseller The Vow, but it’s another long-awaited dream come true that her women’s fiction novels have now found a home with Boldwood.
|The Life You Left Behind
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