Book Review: Life After You by Lucie Brownlee

Life After You

“He crashed on to the pillow next to me, heavy as a felled oak. I slapped His face and told Him to wake up. Our daughter, B, appeared in the doorway, woken up by the screaming – I must have been screaming but I don’t remember – and she was crying and peering in. I told her the ultimate adult lie; that everything was all right.’

Sudden death is rude. It just wanders in and takes your husband without any warning; it doesn’t even have the decency to knock. At the impossibly young age of 37, as they were making love one night, Lucie Brownlee’s beloved husband Mark dropped dead.

As Lucie tried to make sense of her new life – the one she never thought she would be living – she turned to writing to express her grief. Life After You is the stunning, irreverent and heartbreakingly honest result.”

I saw this book being raved about on Facebook (and subsequently as a Richard and Judy Book Club book)  and so thought I’d download it.  It seemed particularly poignant as a Dad in my daughter’s class at school had recently died – albeit after an illness and so not suddenly – but I still thought it might be relevant and give me an insight into someone being a young widow.

Despite being such a difficult topic – I really enjoyed reading this book, and couldn’t wait to get back to it.  It was so well written – and I can imagine being a mate of Lucie’s.  She writes amazingly – and I hope goes on to write more after this first book.

She deals with the aftermath of her husband’s sudden death – and the effect on her, her young daughter (the same age as my youngest child) and her friends and family with great emotion and passion – but also with humour and irreverence.

Whilst it is written in her context – losing a husband very suddenly – I think it is relevant to anyone going through the hideous emotions of grief.  And whilst I sincerely hope it’s not something I have to go through in the near future (the fact her husband is ‘Mark’, like mine, added an extra dimension) -I also hope it’s given me more empathy for people going through this, or similar, traumas.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone (and it’s alter ego version ‘Me After You’).

It makes me very grateful for my Mark and our brood…….


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