When You’re Gone by Brooke Harris (Book Review)

When You’re Gone by Brooke Harris

Today I am excited to be on the Blog Tour for When You’re Gone by Brooke Harris. Many thanks to Kim from Bookouture, the author and NetGalley for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

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Holly was overjoyed to discover she was pregnant. But the baby is unwell, and her relationship is fracturing under the stress. Just when she is at her lowest, she receives the worst news of all: her beloved nana, Annie, is dying.

But Annie has one final wish before she leaves. She asks Holly to find a memory box in the attic, and to read the handwritten pages within it to her, the most precious things she owns.

It’s the story of Arthur ‘Sketch’ Talbot, Annie’s first – and last – love, and how much he sacrificed to save her from a home where she didn’t feel safe. It’s Annie’s promise to Holly that it doesn’t matter how long you love someone – but how much.

As Holly reads her nana’s story to her one last time, could it help her find the strength to face her own future? Is fulfilling her grandmother’s final wish really a gift for Holly?

Compelling, heart-breaking, and emotionally vivid, When You’re Gone will break your heart and fix it anew. A gripping and emotional novel about family, love and sacrifice, for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Susan Lewis and Kathryn Hughes’ The Letter.

Previously published as When It Rains. This edition contains significant editorial revisions.

Purchase Link

My Thoughts

This is the story of Annie and Holly, a really close Grandmother/Granddaughter duo who have an incredible bond.

The book is set in two timelines. One is 1958 when a young Annie meets Sketch, the love of her life and the other is the present day. The modern timeline sees Holly reading aloud a book which was written by Annie many decades before. The lesson within the story is the clever way in which Holly’s Grandmother teaches her the importance of love, loss and the circle of life. The words will stay with Holly throughout her life, equip her with some strong coping mechanisms and teach her the value of love.

There are parts of the book which just make your heart ache but in contrast, some truly beautiful and uplifting moments. The focus of a tightly knit family and the love and support which can come from that is a strong theme throughout. However, the book tackles some extremely difficult issues which are handled responsibly by Brooke Harris.

A somewhat vague review is given here, with intention. I feel that more content information would spoil the storyline so I have deliberately kept this brief. I have to say that at the end of the book there is a letter from Brooke Harris to her readers. She talks of the immense grief she experienced after losing her father and how it inspired the story of When You’re Gone.

In Brooke’s words

“It doesn’t matter how long you love someone, what’s truly important is how much you love them”

I was swept away by these totally relatable characters. It took me back to times with my own grandmother, both happy and sad. A book which is emotionally charged, with an old fashioned love story and so much more.

About the author
USA Today bestselling author Brooke Harris is a self diagnosed romance addict. Realising at the age of seven that being a real person and not a cartoon character may prove a hindrance when applying for a role as a Disney Princess, she decided to create her own stories. As a grown up Brooke tried swapping the heels and tiaras in her stories for sex and revenge and published her first book, Rules of Harte in 2014. The Harte Series went on to become a #1 international bestseller. 

Brooke lives in Kildare, Ireland with her young family. She daydreams about a climate where it doesn’t rain every day, but secretly she loves the green fields and heritage of Ireland.


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