Life After You, by Lucie Brownlee
Published by Virgin Books, 3rd September 2015
Genres: Nonfiction, memoir
Let me preface this by saying that this is not a light, easy read. This is a true story about a woman who lost her husband at the age of 37, and how she dealt with the grief and continuing with life after this tragic event. Consider yourselves forewarned.
That being said, I think this is a great book and I really admire the author’s bravery in telling her story so candidly.
Lucie and her husband Mark are young, happy and full of dreams and ambitions for the future. They have a young daughter, who we only ever know as B, and they are trying for another child. That is until tragedy strikes and Mark dies very suddenly. Lucie is left to deal with the funeral arrangements, parenting their daughter, sorting all the paperwork relating to the passing of a loved one and generally just trying to live again.
I don’t think that anybody can understand what that must have been like, unless they have experienced a similar situation. I certainly can’t!
I sped through this book in a single day, I just couldn’t put it down. This isn’t a page-turning thriller obviously, as Mark dies at the very beginning of the book, and we know he wasn’t murdered. But I just got totally caught up in Lucie and B’s lives and I couldn’t put it down.
I was really inspired by Lucie’s honesty; she never glosses over the most difficult or embarrassing moments of her grief; she is just totally honest and exposes herself and her grief plainly and simply. I think it must have taken great courage to revisit these events and write about them in such detail. I imagine that someone else going through a similar situation would really be able to relate with some, if not all, of Lucie’s feelings, thoughts and struggles.
One thing that bothered me about this book though, is that Mark is always referred to as He, with a capital H. I just found it a bit strange and it interrupted the narrative and made some passages more difficult to read.
Overall, a truly inspiring book about bereavement and the struggles of going on living afterwards. I highly recommend it!
My rating: 4/5