Book Review: The Dead Wife’s Handbook

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman
The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

This dropped through my door last week, just as I was thinking about having a bath with a glass of wine and a novel. That seems to keep happening, which is a good thing.

The premise was interesting, although I can’t help feeling that the beyond-the-grave narrative has been a bit overdone in recent years. Still, the blurb was fairly promising:

The end was just the beginning…

Today is my death anniversary.
A year ago today I was still alive.

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll ever lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.

I read Vicky Angel when I was a teenager, and thought it was interesting that someone was writing from the perspective of a person who’d died. I then read a few more books written in a similar way, and after a while found them all a bit samey.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook is a nice quick, easy read. It won’t shatter your world, but it’ll keep you going through the gap in your reading list. There were a few times when I felt like the author was trying a bit too hard to make her readers feel Emotions – a few of those moments that were just a little too far on the cheesy side.

I didn’t really like it, but then chick lit isn’t generally my thing (with a few exceptions – hello, Jane Green). If you’re a fan of soppy romances and slightly overblown emotions, then you’ll like this. It’d be a good summer read, but unfortunately it’s come out in winter, so unless you’re heading to Barbados to lie on the beach for a few days, it’s possibly just not quite hit the shelves at the right time.


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