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Book review: The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington



*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

First time I heard about Carmel Harrington was last year when I read so many fantastic reviews of her debut ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’. I still haven’t read that book, but it’s on my kindle and I do hope I will be on it soon. The positive feedback from my friends/bloggers and praise of Carmel’s writing were enough to get me excited about reading her books. I was beyond thrilled to be approved for this title on NetGalley and started reading it immediately. I found myself immediately drawn into it, from the opening line which is probably one of the most powerful openings I’ve ever found in a book.

Carmel created one interesting mixture of drama and suspense with lots of paranormal and bit of romance elements. Sarah has just received the most terrifying e-mail from her husband, telling her he’s leaving her and their 3 kids because he’s under too much stress and needs some time by himself. A lame reason, if you ask me, especially since one of their kids is just a baby. It really made me hate him from the bottom of my heart, and made me wonder what kind of animal could do such a thing to his family? But it also got me intrigued to find out all the reasons as well as the history of Paul and Sarah’s relationship. What could lead to such a thing? Was is Sarah’s fault? Is Paul having an affair? WHAT? I just needed to know.
However, this is not the usual drama/romance..there’s also the paranormal element, since Sarah has a gift, one she’s been wanting to forget all about but seems that’s been thrown into her face just when she’s in the hardest situation in her life. While trying to meet ends and provide for her family, she’s also reconnecting with an old friend of hers, Edward who is an angel.

I found the story really unique and interesting, especially since it’s been a while since I’ve read a story with paranormal elements. I must say I hated, HATED HATED HATED Paul and despised him so much I really felt like throwing my kindle any time he would appear in the story. As for Sarah, I can’t say I connected 100% with her, but I did admire her for her strength and willingness to make things right and everything she did to save her family. BUT there were also some parts which felt kind of unbelievable, and no, I don’t mean the paranormal bits. It was because of those things I couldn’t truly sympathize with Sarah, but they might be considered as spoilers so I will not include them in this review. I also expected this book to get more feelings out of me, however it didn’t. Maybe I was not in the right mood for it, or maybe (which is more probable) I just couldn’t connect to Sarah as much as I wanted. I did feel so much hate for Paul, but just couldn’t feel as much love for Sarah.

I also wish there was more romance, but that’s just me. Overall, this was an interesting read and kind of felt like stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Carmel’s ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ and once I’m done reading I can maybe compare these two books, which as I understood from friends who have read it, do differ.

My rating: 3.5/5