Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: July 24th, 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Death of a Spouse/Parent
Book’s Synopsis (from Goodreads):
In New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison’s most emotional novel ever, a fractured family must come together at a beach house haunted by the past.
Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief.
Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market.
When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back.
To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son.
Every Time You Go Away is a heartfelt, emotional story about healing a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family.
I am going to start this review out on a complaint. If you go on Goodreads, you will notice that there is a different blurb for the book. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the NetGalley page feature the one I used for the synopsis. I got confused about what I was reading because the blurbs were different. I went through a small “WTH” moment when I realized that. I came <this close> to emailing the publisher to clear up the confusion. I didn’t after reading several reviews that pointed out the same thing. At that point, I decided to use Amazon’s blurb because it matched with what I read on NetGalley’s page. I do not like being confused. And over something as simple as a blurb.
Not that is out of my system, let’s get to how I feel about the book. I liked Every Time You Go Away, even if it made me feel sad for about 90% of the book. I liked that the author shows that love transcends death. I liked that I was able to see Willa heal while fixing up the beach house. I liked that Ben was able to help with Willa’s healing. I liked that Jamie ended up being a normal teenager, once he got away from his possessive ex-girlfriend. This is a book that you need to read with a box of tissues nearby because you are going to cry. Trust me on this one.
There were parts of the book that I didn’t like. I didn’t like Roxie. She brought nothing to the book except stress for Jamie. She was a manipulator. Oddly, I didn’t like the real estate agent. She grated on my nerves. I know it was her job but she could have shown a little more tact and understanding to Willa’s situation. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ending.
I thought Willa was a hot mess at the beginning of the book. She took no pleasure out of her life after Ben died. She existed. She shut herself from everyone, including her son. Her anxiety was out of control. I thought I was bad with having my kids check in. She so much worse. But I understood why she was like that. To have someone died so suddenly was traumatic. I loved seeing her gradual healing throughout this book. Being at the beach house was what she needed, even if it brought back memories of her and Ben.
I liked the paranormal turn that the book took. While I thought that the book would have been fine as it, having Ben helping Willa get over him made the book even better. I did get some vibes from Ghost during the scenes when they interacted. Mainly the end of the book.
I liked the sub-storyline with Jamie and Kelsey. It was cute and mirrored Ben and Willa’s. I do wish that the author gave some closure to that storyline. I would have loved to see if they ended up together.
Like I mentioned above, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. I didn’t feel satisfied with it. I wanted more. I wanted to know what was going to happen to everyone. The book just ended. I get driven nuts by that.
What I liked about Every Time You Go Away:
A) Love transcends death
B) Ben helping Willa getting over his death
C) Jamie ending up as a normal teen after dumping his psycho girlfriend
What I disliked about Every Time You Go Away:
A) The confusion over the blurb
B) Roxie. I did not like her
C) The ending. Wasn’t a huge fan of that.
I would give Every Time You Go Away an Adult rating. There is no sex but there are sexual situations. There is very mild language. There is no violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
There are trigger warnings in Every Time You Go Away. They are the death of a parent/spouse and anxiety. If you are triggered by those, I suggest that you don’t read this book.
I would reread Every Time You Go Away. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank. St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Every Time You Go Away.
All opinions stated in this review of Every Time You Go Away are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**