Title: Every Time You Go Away
Author: Beth Harbison
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Page Count: 304
My rating: 4 1/2 stars
About the book:
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.
Every Time You Go Away seems to have two different book blurbs written for it and two different covers. I’m using the blurb and cover that match the advance copy of the book that I received and I truly hope this is the version that is published as the final copy as the story really did live up to their tag line of “a heartfelt, emotional story about healing a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family”.
The majority of the book is told from the prospective of Willa who is still grieving the passing of her husband three years before from a heart attack. Ben had been at the family beach house alone when he passed and in the years since Willa hasn’t been able to bring herself to go to the house or to take her son there but now Willa believes it’s time to let go and sell the house.
After arriving Willa feels something a bit off and her dog is also reluctant to enter but Willa just chalks it up to nerves. After meeting with a realtor Willa begins the repairs that will need to be made and finally convinces her teenage son, Jamie, to come help. Soon the two are joined by some long time family friends and Willa finds that she is the only one seeing her ex-husband every around the house.
Every Time You Go Away is the third book I’ve read by Beth Harbison and while each have the contemporary foundation to build upon they each have contained something else a little extra to make them unique. In this one we have the main character communication with her husband’s spirit in the home and while some may not be a fan of such a thing in this type of read I rather enjoyed the added twist. The underlying story is still about bringing their family back together after such a huge loss and learning just how to live again themselves and to move on. It’s was definitely a touching and emotional read in a beautiful beachy setting so I definitely enjoyed this one rating it in the end at 4.5 stars.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
BETH HARBISON is The New York Times bestselling author of One Less Problem Without You, If I Could Turn Back Time, Driving with the Top Down, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger; When In Doubt, Add Butter; Always Something There To Remind Me; Thin, Rich, Pretty; Hope In A Jar; Secrets of a Shoe Addict; andShoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, DC, and now shares her time between that suburb, New York City, and a quiet home on the eastern shore.