Friday, 2 April 2021

Book Review - The Single Dad's Handbook by Lynsey James

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Title: The Single Dad's Handbook
Author: Lynsey James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 2nd April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to The Single Dad’s Handbook, your comprehensive guide to life without me when I pop my clogs!

‘I laughed, I cried, and I swooned a bit too (both over Evan and the beautiful Edinburgh setting). Gorgeous.’ Lia Louis

It’s been two years since cancer stole Evan Harper’s wife, Claire, from their lives. Although Evan’s doing everything he can to be Super Dad for his five year old, Violet, he can’t seem to get anything right. So he turns to the one person who gives the best advice – Claire herself.

Before she died she wrote him a book of letters to see him through the ups and downs of raising their daughter and her words soon help him see that there is life after loss – and maybe even a second shot at love – when you find the courage to start living again…

It’s time to start living again, Evan. Your new forever starts right here. Love always, Claire

Well I was on the verge of tears at the start, and at the end, and a few times in between, for Lynsey James really does know how to pack an emotional punch. 

The letters Claire has left to her husband Evan, on how to move on after her death, and how to be the best dad he can be to Violet are perfectly written. They hit just the right tone, and I suspect if you are more sentimental than me, then you will need tissues handy as you read some of them. 

But in between it's also heart warming, and well brilliant.  There are moments of levity, seeing Evan attempting to navigate the world of tinder and the dates he goes on are light relief, even if he couldn't see something I suspected rather early on. 

And Violet, you can't help but feel for her, we meet her properly on the first time on her first day of school, and its heart-breaking that she's having to navigate this milestone without her mummy. Evan is trying is hardest but 2 years on is clearly still grieving and barely coping as it is. 

Thankfully whether he wants it or not, Evan has a fabulous support network with his various friends, and family, They are all in their own ways trying to help him, whether he is ready to move on or not. 

I knew nothing about this book as I started reading and I really feel that is the best way to approach it, to get the full impact.  I literally couldn't put this down and devoured it very quickly.  I was completely absorbed the the story, and its reminded me how great an author Lynsey James is.   I just hope we don't have to wait another 3 years for her next book! 

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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