Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen
Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.
When a misguided well-wisher tells her that ‘everything happens for a reason’, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.
Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results…
Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.
This is an exceedingly difficult review to write, I am not sure that I have the right words to describe just what an outstanding debut novel Everything Happens for a Reason (Orenda Books) by Katie Allen really is. A very poignant story that was inspired by the authors own experience of stillbirth and grief.
The main character in the story is Rachel whose heart is shattered when her son was stillborn. But for Rachel who is on maternity leave without a baby wants to know why her son Luke was born sleeping and now finds herself trying to make sense of everything as well as the pain and grief. But what I will say here, there is humour in the story despite the grief.
Rachel has borrowed her mother’s sausage dog but really believes she herself is to blame for the loss of her son as on the day she found out she was pregnant she managed to stop a man committing suicide by jumping in front of a train.
If there is one statement that I really dislike is that ‘everything happens for a reason’ I have had that said to me just recently and the same happens to Rachel in the story and this is where her quest begins, try, and find the answer to ‘why’. Rachel also decides she needs to find the man she saved that day, and, in some way, it may help her to try and find some answers.
Rachel’s journey to find the man and find answers for the loss of her son will take her on a journey where she will meet some unexpected people, and this could well help her in her journey to find reasons. Then of course there are the emails, and this I will leave there for you to discover. It is a heart-breaking story packed with emotion but let us not forget the humour that is in the storyline as well.
I do not know if I am the right person to write a review about such a painful loss but Katie if you by chance read this review, you have written an incredible debut novel that I will not forget and cannot wait to see what you do next. Highly Recommended.
My thanks to Orenda Books for the review copy of Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen.
Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen is published by Orenda Books and is published 10th June 2021 and is available to pre-order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org