The Five Stages of Falling In Love by Rachel Higginson Book Review


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Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.

Melanie’s 5 I-can’t-even-Star Review:

Approximately 10 tissues, 1 tear soaked pillow, and 2 puffy eyes later I am still reeling!!! The Five Stages of Falling In Love by Rachel Higginson has got to be one of the best reads I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Everything about this was wholeheartedly well done. I was sobbing like a madwoman during so many times in this book; my shoulders shaking like the San Andreas fault, I couldn’t clearly breathe through my nose. The amount of emotions that flowed out of the pages straight through to my own heart was unlike any other.

I felt for Liz so damn much that I strangely feel like I reached right into the pages and somehow became her during the few hours when I inhaled this book. How does one truly ever get over their one true love when they aren’t given a choice? The author’s words depicted such powerful punches because they were painfully honest. Liz doesn’t have it all together, quite frankly she was a heap of a mess during the majority of this book but again it just showed readers exactly what it was—the grief stricken widow who had to somehow continue to maneuver through her everyday life as much as possible for the sake of her 4 children. I connected with Liz with such fervor because I absolutely loved how she stayed extremely faithful to Grady even after death, continuously finding herself lost in the memories and the love that remained as strongly intact. The chaos that surrounded their household a reminder that life was still happening around her even when all she wanted was to hit pause. And of course because life has such a funny way of showing you that everything would be OK—in comes Ben Tyler the PERFECT next door neighbor. OMG you guys… OMG!!! THIS GUY! I SWOONED over and over and over again over him. He is EVERYTHING. Ugh! With looks that could melt any woman’s pants off, a stable career as a lawyer, sweet and golden like honey, and the patience of a saint… he is EVERYTHING! Even as I write up this review about him, my chest expands with so much adoration and pride for him. The way in which he takes care of Liz and her kids without expectation and his ability to withstand and forgive the painfully jarring words that Liz spits at him at a constant rate was just well… perfect.

The Five Stages of Falling In Love dripped every emotion known to man and the way in which Rachel Higginson executed them all were seamlessly genuine. I was torn up, unable to keep myself from wailing. That cathartic release so unbelievably satisfying; everything that a literary masochist like myself gets off on when finding a gem like this book. I empathized with the dueling of emotions that Liz felt throughout this book. How desperately she wanted to hold on to Grady but somehow needing to move forward. My god, I can’t even right now. The way in which the author put this story together just knocked my socks off. I encourage you with as much fervor as I had towards Liz to pick up this book today and find the time to read it. You will weep, you will grieve, you will laugh, and you will fall in love with all of the characters—both primary and secondary in this hauntingly beautiful story of losing love, finding love, and redefining what true love really is.


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