Review: The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman


Title: The Dead Wife’s Handbook

Author: Hannah Beckerman

Published: Arcade Publishing Jan 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from January 05 to 06, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/edelweiss)

My Thoughts:

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman is a story of love, grief and letting go. Rachel was just thirty six years old when her heart stopped beating. She was happily married to Max and a loving mother to five year old Ellie, now she floats in a void of white mist given intermittent views of her husband and daughter living without her.

The idea of a ghostly narrator is a not a new one and sadly the story offers no real surprises. It begins to feel a bit repetitive after a while, for Max and Ellie it’s one step forward, two steps back, for Rachel – endless longing and a predictable cycle of guilt, resentment and despair.

I think it was just that characters were all just too perfect – Rachel was the perfect wife and mother, Max the perfect husband and father, and Ellie, who is just too perfectly adorable for words. Oh and Eve, Eve is perfect too. Their grief often seemed too neat, too contained and Max always seemed to be able to find the right words to comfort Ellie.

I did empathise with Rachel, after all I am a mother and I would be horrified to be in her place, but for the unwary reader, particularly one recently bereaved I don’t think The Dead Wife’s Handbook would offer much comfort. The lessons she learns about love, life and death are true enough but cliched.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook has received a plethora of positive reviews, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Available to Purchase From

Arcade Publishing IAmazon UKAmazon US I BookDepository I IndieBound

in Australia: via Booko


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. readingwritingandriesling
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 12:13:17

    I own a copy too – it is sitting here waiting, waiting…



  2. Rebecca Bradley
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 17:46:17

    I’m not sure if I’m bothered about picking this one up…



  3. Fay
    Jan 12, 2015 @ 21:35:30

    I was sent this a while back and really should just read it!



  4. shrakkbookattack
    Jan 13, 2015 @ 02:19:57

    Wow, what an honest review! I was tempted at first, and while I’m not saying never, I think I’ll let this one wait until I’ve completed some of my more pressing reads.



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