This new novel Every Time You Go Away, by Beth Harbison, takes the reader through the roller coaster ride that is the grief following the loss of a spouse. What about the kids who’ve lost a parent? If one parent is gone, and the other is absorbed in grief, who takes care of the kid? Harbison examines the gamut of emotions and difficulties experienced by both, and shows how they can come out on the other side of grief with the family intact.
It has been four years since Ben died, and Willa still has not recovered from losing the love of her life. She finally faces the reality of the need to sell their beach house. The house where they went as teenagers, bought, then took their own kids.
Her son, Jamie, is suffering, too, and has allowed himself to be caught up in a toxic high school relationship with an emotionally needy girl. He does know from his parents what a good marriage looks like, and he finally extricates himself. Together, mother and son begin to rebuild their relationship.
As Willa works to make the house presentable for sale, Ben keeps appearing to her – then going away. Ironically, it’s Ben who helps her not only to see her neglect of Jamie, but to accept that she still has work to do in this world, and he is waiting for her on the other side of the veil.
I love a happy ending, and Every Time You Go Away has one. I give this story four stars.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
- Spelling “god” without a capital “G”;
- Using “Try and”, rather than “try to”;
- Beginning sentences with conjunctions;
- Split infinitives;
- Misplacement of the word “only” within sentences.