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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Review: What Eden Did Next

Title: What Eden Did Next
Author: Sheila O'Flanagan

Publisher: 26th April 2022 by Hachette Australia

Pages: 448 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: contemporary, women’s fiction

My Rating:  4 crowns


Five years after the death of her firefighter husband, Eden knows better than anyone that life can change in an instant. Now, instead of the future she had planned with Andy, she has Lila - the daughter he never got the chance to meet. And instead of Andy, she has his family.

Then Eden meets someone. Someone she knew before Andy, before Lila, before the tragedy. Someone who reminds her of how she used to be. But Andy's mother has other plans. And Eden is facing an impossible choice. One that could tear a family apart . . .

Honest and emotionally gripping, What Eden Did Next is an irresistible, sometimes heart-breaking, ultimately joyful, novel of love, loss - and finding your own way to happiness.

My Thoughts

‘You all seem to think you know what I need!’ Eden exclaimed as she pushed her chair back from the table and stood up. ‘But you don’t. So leave it. I’m going for a walk.’

Sheila acknowledges the impact of the last couple of years on people throughout the world in her acknowledgements: More than ever we’ve come to realise the importance of the people closest to us, especially when we can’t be with them … Part of Eden’s story deals with her mourning the life she should have had. I think many of us have felt that way over the past years as we’ve seen milestones go by without the customary celebrations, as reminders of cancelled events popped up in our timelines, as we were forced over and over again to isolate ourselves from the people we love.

Therein Shiela presents another delightful book for her readers to absorb and lean into. She creates a cast of characters that are sure to resonate with readers, a real community whether it be the local residents or the online group chats. There are important issues addressed throughout - love and loss, self doubt and grief. At times heartbreaking, at times heartwarming. There is real depth to the characters and the community as they face everything from the daily work grind to family pressures.

This is a book that you know the drill but as always it is the journey that reaches out and takes your hand. All about love and second chances, What Eden Did Next is the comfort read you were looking for. Ready yourself for the journey as you sink into your sofa with a warm cup of tea and take in all the feels with Eden and friends.

“We didn’t give up our lives,’ said Kevin. ‘We adapted, but we were still doing what we wanted to do. So the question is, Eden, what do you want to do?"

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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