Monday, August 13, 2018

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

4 Star

Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief. 

Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market. 

When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back. 

To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son. 



Kathryn - 4 Star

I wasn't sure what to expect from Every Time You Go Away as the novel started off slowly for me.  I didn't immediately warm to Willa and found her a bit unapproachable.  I understood that she was processing her husbands death and her own worries about their teenage son but I didn't feel empathy for her in the way it was told.  The plot moved slowly for me also and though I appreciated that it mimicked Willa's re-awakening, I found it a bit frustrating and repetitive.  

I suppose that may sound insensitive and that is certainly not my intent.  I liked the addition of her husband's ghost as a character and found I grew to know Willa much more during her interactions with him.  Likewise I found her more interesting when she was with her best friend or her son.  For me the personality came out when she was with other people. Perhaps this was the crux of her becoming herself again? 

I enjoyed the book on the whole though and found her processing of grief was true, it is an ongoing process for all of us. 



Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Beth Harbison:
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