TeriLyn's thoughts: My first Rachel Higginson story and certainly not my last - The Five Stages of Falling in Love hails as a charming story about devastating loss, heartbreak, and learning to love all over again.
Written solely from the point of view of Liz Carlson - broken widow, relatable mother of four - we feel a connection to her life almost immediately. As the book opens we understand her once in a lifetime love and how much she's lost. We see her barely getting through the day slowly evolving through the five stages of grief as Ben Tyler enters her life and irrevocably changes it.
Ben Tyler. The hero. The savior. If there were more Ben Tyler's walking this earth the world would be a much safer, brighter place. He does the right things, he says the right things, and he wiggles his way so subtlety into the lives of hurting Carlson family the reader can't help but fall in love right along with Liz and her children. Ben gives so easily. He recognizes in Liz what we learned Grady wanted for her after he was gone. He's not an alpha, not a bad boy, nothing even remotely but what Higginson portrays him to be - a really great man with a lot of love to give in exchange for the light Liz innately shines.
As the ghost of Liz's deceased husband plays an important role in the story we move through the five stages of grief with Liz as Higginson shows us that the ideas behind these 5 stages can perfectly align with falling in love. Liz doesn't want to fall in love or move on and we live it right along with her as it happens anyway - to the benefit of her family, her grief, and her life. And much to the delight of the reader as we feel what she feels so naturally.
I picked this up on a whim after being introduced to this author from her latest release and I'm so glad I did. It felt comforting to me in an odd way because through this author's poignantly real, honest and even at times amusing dialogue between characters and Liz's inner monologue Rachel Higginson gave me a continual feeling of security and strength in the belief that life moves on whether we want it to or not. Her meaningful words and excellent writing took me on an easy-to-read and heartfelt journey through The Five Stages of Falling in Love.