Rachel Higginson’s novel, The five stages of falling in love enthralled me with its lyrical narrative. Though the book’s title can mislead readers to think that it’s a light and fluffy romantic book, it’s actually tragic and heavy. It’s a story about finding the road to healing.

When Liz lost her husband to cancer, she was unable to move on. With four kids beside her, every day is a struggle picking up the pieces. I loved how I felt so connected with Liz, the prologue just killed me, seriously I did not expect to start reading a book then burst out in tears, it’s unfair! Higginson’s poetic style of writing is like a slow dance, every emotion in the words lingered in me and I felt Liz’s grief like it was my own…. How brokenhearted she was to see her children grow up without a father. And it crushed me to read about the kids wanting their father to come home because they miss him… it’s shattering!

“This was our grief and pain at our deepest. This was our hearts and soul 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. ”

Death is something universal, adults expect it to come and yet when it arrives we refuse to accept it. Eventually we all face these five stages before we can fully heal. I felt Liz’s guilt when she refuse to open herself to Ben her next door neighbor who wanted to start something with her and true to its Title, Liz cannot fully accept falling in love to a man that is not her husband until she was able surpass each stages. I think this is a heartwarming novel; everything about it is being what a family is all about. If you’re in the mood for a tearjerker with a chance of happy ending then this is for you.

Rating: 4/5


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