The Light in the Hallway - Amanda Prowse

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.
In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?
And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

My Thoughts:

You never know what genre you are going to get when reading an Amanda Prowse book, will it be funny, romantic, sad or scary? I had no clue when requesting this book on NetGalley as there wasn’t any blurb on there or Amazon (it has since been updated!). So I requested it blind knowing that all her books are well-written regardless of the genre.
This was an emotional and very sombre book about a man that has lost his wife, and if he makes one wrong move, he will potentially lose his teenage son as well. He’s having to learn the rules of mourning and fast. Apparently, it is unacceptable to go out for a pint of milk the day after your wife dies. It is against the rules! It is hard to remember the bad things about a relationship when one half of the couple dies. You only remember the good, so when you need to start moving on, it becomes a tricky situation. This is what Nick discovers when he starts to feel attracted to another woman. All the usual guilty emotions ensue. So this is a book about acceptance and overcoming the loss of your other half. It made a change for the husband to be the one left behind. I’ve read so many books where the wife loses her husband, but this is the first this way around.
The chapters are very long, some stating 45 minutes long when starting. This can be a real hindrance to reading a book. I had 30 minutes before my husband was due home to read some of this book, but I was faced with a 42-minute chapter. I knew I wouldn’t get it finished before he arrived back so didn’t end up reading it until later that night. Had there been ten-minute chapters, I would have read three of them and felt as if I’d achieved something. Long chapters can be daunting, I’ve said this many times before. Luckily, at the end of each chapter, there was a section set back in 1992 following Nick and his friends when they were ten. This did break the book up a little.
However, the relevance of these chapters is a little ambiguous. Yes, little tidbits of what happened back then are referred to in the present, but I don’t feel as if it had much bearing on the bigger picture. If it had been when he had met Kerry and him messing about with his mates, it would have made more sense. However, it was just a fun summer when they built a bike; he hadn’t even met Kerry at this point in his life. I kept waiting for the past to be relevant, but it didn’t really happen. It was like reading two separate stories within one book.
The pace of the book was a bit slow, but the topic and the characters kept me interested enough in it to continue reading. I did keep hoping something significant would happen, and it does pick up a little in the story towards the end, but it did still plod on a little.
It was still a very heartfelt and heartbreaking story and enjoyable enough to read, but I probably won’t remember much about it in a week or two. It won’t leave a lasting impression.

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The Light in the Hallway
by Amanda Prowse
Date Started
4th November 2019
Date Finished
5th November 2019
Buy Now on Amazon