The Light In The Hallway
From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes the moving story of a man whose life is changed in an instant. How do you start again when you lose the only love you’ve ever known?
When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.
In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?
And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?
My Thoughts on The Light In The Hallway
So, I have been really looking forward to the next publication by Amanda Prowse.
The Light In The Hallway is the story of a man’s grief when he loses his wife to cancer. Not only does Nick have his own feelings to deal with but also the grief of his ‘half man/half boy’ son. Olly is eighteen and on one hand, an independent university student but also a child desperately missing his mum.
Nick finds that there are unwritten rules about how a bereaved person should act. He stumbles along trying to find some sort of normality but realises that his actions are scrutinised by his wife’s relatives, work colleagues, neighbours and to some degree his own son. He has imaginary conversations with his late wife Kerry who urges him to move forward and be happy. However, in a small town where everyone knows each other…it is easier said than done!
I have read many books about the effects of grief but usually looking at the subject from a woman’s perspective, so this book was a refreshing change.
I loved Nick’s honesty towards his marriage and he doesn’t put Kerry on a pedestal. He acknowledges that if he hadn’t married and become a parent so young, his life could have been very different. He is also aware that his wife made mistakes in the marriage which made life hard for both of them.
The story is interspersed with chapters going back to Nick’s childhood and growing up with his two best friends. Life seemed very simple for the three lads who are presented with a Half Bike at the beginning of the school holidays by Nick’s father. He knew that a project like collecting parts and assembling a fully working bike would be a really useful life lesson for the young boys.
There is tremendous warmth, humour, and compassion in this story. I liked Nick but found all of the characters endearing and they each had their own story to tell. This is not just a story about grief but also deep friendship, family loyalty, and new beginnings. I loved Treacle the dog who gave enormous comfort to Nick (even if she did steal the Christmas turkey!)
I highly recommended this book especially if you have recently lost a loved one. It shows that grief affects people differently and the only way forward is to just do your best.
Thank you to the publisher (via NetGalley) for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.