Rachel Higginson – The Five Stages of Falling in Love

Synopsis

The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.

Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.

elválasztó

Ez a könyv… összetört…kicsordította a könnyemet…átvitt a gyász öt fázisán… megmosolyogtatott… és meggyógyította a szívemet. A kezdés hihetetlenül erős, konkrétan már a könyv elején sírtam és mondanom sem kell, hogy elhasználtam egy-két zsepit a könyv további részében is.

A történet főszereplője Liz, aki férjével Grady-vel és 4 gyönyörű gyerekükkel él egy szép házban, boldogan, néha kicsit káoszosan (mert hát 4! gyerek :)) de nagyon-nagy szeretetben. Sajnos azonban az élet és a sors úgy hozza, hogy Grady hosszú betegség után eltávozik, és Liz egyedül marad, hogy megbirkózzon minden rá váró feladattal, a gyásszal és az apa nélkül maradt gyerekekkel. A történet Grady halála után fél évvel veszi fel a fonalat. Liz még mindig hihetetlenül összetörve, mély fájdalomban és csak napról napra túlélve próbál meg helytállni a mindennapokban, és sajnos a gyerekek sem könnyítik meg a dolgát. A kettő, négy, hat és a nyolc éves apróságok mind-mind máshogy dolgozzák fel édesapjuk elvesztését, és közülük is a hat éves Abby a legnehezebb eset, aki vadságával és fegyelmezetlenségével folyamatosan bajba keveredik. Egyik hajnalban Abby átszökik a szomszédban lévő medencébe úszkálni egyet, és mikor Liz meglátja ezt, egyből az infarktus kerülgeti. Gyorsan átszalad, és mivel nem sikerül kiimádkoznia a kislányt a medencéből, bemászik a vízbe Abby után úgy ahogy van, csak úgy pizsiben és a reggeli bájában. 🙂 Ekkor találkozik az új szomszéddal, aki rendkívül jól szórakozik a gyereket vízben kergető anyuka látványán, de végül neki sikerül kicsalogatnia a kislányt.

Liz és Ben nagyon sokáig csak barátok lesznek, habár az elég hamar kiderül, hogy Ben érzéseket táplál Liz iránt. Liz nagyon nehéz helyzetben érzi magát, hiszen az élete egy káosz, egyedül nevel négy gyereket, elvesztette a másik felét, akit egyszerűen nem tud elengedni, és úgy érzi, hogy nincs helye másnak a szívében. Grady volt élete szerelme és úgy gondolja, hogy ő már nem soha nem szerethet mást, hogy ő már nem megy férjhez újra, hogy Grady halálával az ő életének „boldogan éltünk…” része is lezárult. Nagyon lassan épül a történet, de az idő múlásával Ben Liz és a gyerekek életévé válik. Liz szép lassan keresztülmegy a gyász öt fázisán ami úgy alakul, hogy egyben a „szerelembe esés” öt fázisává is válik, és pont ettől zseniális a könyv felépítése.

Liz nagyon sokára fogadja el, hogy igenis szeretheti Bent, és talán ez így volt életszerű, de néha már zavartak a plusz körök. Imádtam a szereplőket, főleg a gyerekeket, azonban amíg Liz karakterét és fájdalmát teljesen hitelesnek éreztem, addig azon sokszor elgondolkoztam, hogy létezhet-e olyan tökéletes ember, mint Ben. Ben egy 35 éves ügyvéd, aki egy gyönyörű házban él agglegényként, bármilyen nő számára főnyeremény lenne, és ő mégis Liz-t választja, aki lelkileg össze van törve, aki nemrég veszítette el a férjét, van 4 (!) gyereke és képes rá hónapokat, éveket várni, hogy elfogadja a szerelemét. Őszintén gyönyörű volt ez a könyv és Ben természetesen tökéletes volt, rengeteget segített Liz-nek, és olyan lett számára, mint egy friss levegővétel, de egy picit valószerűtlennek érzem a történet ezen részét, bár bízzunk benne, hogy ilyen emberek nem csak egy könyv lapjain létezhetnek.

Talán nem volt száz százalékosan tökéletes ez a könyv, de rengeteg-rengeteg érzelmen vitt keresztül. Tényleg briliáns volt, ahogy át tudta adni a fájdalmat és a kétségbeesést, amit Liz érzett. Nem egyszer volt, hogy én is együtt sírtam Liz-el és a gyerekekkel, és ez a hihetetlen kötelék, ami formálódott köztem és a szereplők között az, ami miatt jár az 5 csillag. Ez valóban egy gyönyörű történet volt gyászról, gyógyulásról és második esélyekről.

elválasztó

My Review in English

This book devastated me… made me cry… took me through the five stages of grief… made me smile… and finally healed my heart. The beginning of the story was really strong, I already cried after a few pages and I don’t even have to tell you that I used a lot of Kleenex during the reading.

The main character of the story is Liz, who lives in a beautiful home with her husband Grady, with their four children in big happiness, sometimes in a little chaos (because of the four (!) children :)), but in huge love. But unfortunately Grady gets sick and after long time he passes away, so Liz is left alone to deal with everything, her grief and her children who are left behind without a father. The story picks up six months after Grady’s death. Liz is still broken, in deep pain and she tries to hold on living day to day and unfortunately her kids also don’t make her days easier. The two, four, six and eight years old children all try to process the loss of their fathers, but the hardest case is the six years old Abby, who always gets in trouble with her wildness and indiscipline. One morning she sneaks out from the house to the pool of the new neighbor and when Liz sees her, she almost has a heart attack. She runs over and after she can’t beg out her from the pool she jumps in after her. She meets with her new neighbor in this situation. She is soaking wet, in her PJ, in the morning in his pool and he is really amused with the view of Liz as she chasing her daughter in the water. 🙂

Liz and Ben stay just friends for a long time although it becomes obvious soon that Ben has feelings for Liz. Liz finds herself in a really hard situation, because her life is a chaos, she raises four children on her own, she lost her other half who she never can let go, and she feels that there never will be room for another man in her heart. Grady was the love of her life, so she thinks that she cannot love anyone ever, she not will be married again, and with Grady’s death, her “Happily ever after…” is already ended. The story builds very slowly and as the time goes by Ben becomes part of Liz and the children’s life. Liz slowly goes through the five stages of grief and it turns out that is also the five stages of “falling in love” and this what makes the structure of the story so brilliant.

Liz accepts her love for Ben only after a long time, and maybe this was more authentic this way, but sometimes these plus rounds bothered me a little. I really loved the characters, especially the kids but while I found the character of Liz and her pain really realistic, I wondered a lot about Ben. Could this kind of perfect guy even exist in a real life? He is a 35 years old lawyer with a beautiful house, he would be jackpot for every women, but he still choses Liz who has a broken soul, who lost her husband recently, who has four (!) children, and he still waits for her love for month and years. This book was truly beautiful and Ben was perfect, he helped Liz a lot and he felt like a breath of fresh air to her, but I felt this part of the story a little unbelievable. I really hope that these kind of perfect guys exists in the real life too, not just on the pages of a great book.

Maybe this book was not one hundred percent perfect, but it took me through so many emotions! It was truly brilliant how it could hand over the pain and the desperation what Liz felt. So many times I cried with Liz and with the kids, and because this intense bond what developed between me and the characters I absolutely can’t give less than five stars for this heartfelt story. This was an amazingly beautiful story about grief, healing and second chances.

elválasztó

My Favorite Quotes From the Book

“I can’t take anymore heartbreak,” I confessed on a broken whisper.
“Then it’s a good thing I’m not going to break your heart.”

“This was our grief and pain at our deepest. This was our hearts and souls scraped raw. This was desperation so intense I felt it in my bones, in the broken places of my soul. And that my children shared this grief made it so much worse.”

“That’s all I’m asking. Live in this moment with me and we’ll get to the next moment together.”

“You were like fireworks. That’s how I think of falling in love with you. One beautiful explosion after another. The first time you kissed me. The first time you made love to me. The first time you told me you loved me. When you asked me to marry you. Our wedding day. As I watched you become a father and then a great father. Every step we took together felt monumental. I fell for you hard and just kept falling.” I paused to wipe away heavy tears.
“God, I miss you.”
It took me several more minutes before I could continue, “Ben didn’t happen like that. There were no fireworks or epic moments. It was just us, lost and wandering. It was like we were taking this journey, both of us, but separately. Until one day we started taking this journey together. Neither of us knew where we were going at first. Not until we met each other and started walking together. Then all of a sudden I knew I had a destination again, I had a compass. Our love happened as the miles passed and we felt a little less lost. It happened as the road became clearer and less lonely. He came in like a sigh, a soft breath of hope. He happened to me through tears and grief and missing you so much my body hurt.
My heart hurt.”

“You are the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me, Lizzy.”

“Ben had been my savior.
Ben had been breath back in my lungs. Beats back in my heart. Blood back in my veins.
Ben had been found instead of lost. Home instead of wandering. Life instead of death.”

“We don’t have to limit how many people we love. Our hearts make room for as many people as we want to let in.”

“Yes, Grady was your great love, but you are mine. And if you let me, I would be yours too. There isn’t a limit on how much we can love, Liz. You had Grady. Now have me.”
“Emma, I have had four children! Four of them! Do you understand the state of my vagina? What kind of man goes out on a date with a woman that has four children?”
“And right now I was more pissed off than I had ever been. I didn’t know if this anger would ever deplete. It consumed me. I sat there, still and unmoving, while it burned away at my insides and spilled acid eating at my soul, inch by slow inch.”

“That hope is a lie.
Grief doesn’t get easier with each stage. Grief becomes harder, more difficult to face, more consuming with each breath that I take.
I am adrift in a sea of confusion. I am lost in a desert of heartache.
I am broken.”

“I looked up to his smiling face and felt myself relax just a bit. I didn’t understand my reaction. He usually made me so uncomfortable that my rudeness was unforgivable. But tonight, he felt like relief. He felt like… a breath of fresh air.”

“….because of Ben, my life doesn’t have to end. Maybe he’s the love of my second chance.”

“Our feelings for each other didn’t start as a seed, they started as an ocean.”

5 – Emotional-Stars

5 stars

five stages

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About the Author

Rachel Higginson is the Rachel Higginsonauthor of The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series and much more!

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising four amazing kids.

You can visit Rachel at

rachelhigginson.com

facebook.com/rachelhigginsonauthor

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