Have you ever wondered how it would feel to meet the recipients of your loved one's organs? Heavy question triggering lots of emotions, huh? I have wondered this many times, even more so after watching this video you can find on here on YouTube (see image on the right) and being a mom of twin boys who grew their wings before they were born, but who also may have saved
Alex crossed to the bed, where the only woman he had ever loved lay immobile. There was an ugly dark bruise along her jaw, but far more shocking was the plastic breathing tube protruding from between the lips he’d kissed only hours earlier. Despair and fear rose in Alex’s throat. 'We have a little boy. His name is Connor. He still needs his mother… We both do.'
When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.
Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But then Lisa dies in a train crash, and their perfect world is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old. How can he and Connor carry on without Lisa lighting up their lives?
But throughout her life Lisa touched the hearts of more people than just her family. And as those people whose fates were changed come forward after her tragic death, Alex hears their stories and begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. If you can find the strength to start over, there are new beginnings in even our most heartbreaking moments…
What I really loved about this book is that you don't only get to read the story from the perspective of Alex and the recipient's of Lisa's organs, but the book also includes Lisa's POV before her passing. That made the book even more powerful for me. I felt like I got to know Lisa a bit and before I could even get to know her more, she is ripped from this world. What follows is a heartwarming, yet at the same time heart-breaking story of Lisa's husband Alex who is now left behind with their six-year-old son. How do you as a parent explain to your son that his mommy is not coming back? How do you move on when you lose the person you loved more than life itself? And how much would it turn your life upside down when you meet those who have a life because your loved one lost hers? It is hard to put into words how this book made me feel. It is one of those things that you have to experience yourself to understand the depth of the events. You have to read the book to understand how invested you can get in the characters, ALL characters in this story: Alex, his son, and those who received his wife's organs.
But this book is not a downer. While it pulls on your heartstrings and you can feel the doubts rising in Alex if it was a good idea to contact the donors, it is also full of hope for the future, full of hope that somehow life goes on and you find closure. They say that time heals all wounds. From my personal perspective, I can say that this is true, but there will always be a scar. Alex and Connor (his son) have my deepest sympathy. I just want to hug them! Thank you, Dani Atkins, for letting me be a part of Alex' walk down memory lane to meet Lisa and understand how deeply she impacted everyone's life.
About the author:
Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut THEN AND ALWAYS (published as FRACTURED in the UK) has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold more than half a million copies globally.
Dani is the author of five other bestselling novels (THE STORY OF US, OUR SONG, THIS LOVE, WHILE I WAS SLEEPING and A MILLION DREAMS) and PERFECT STRANGERS, a standalone eBook novella. In 2018, THIS LOVE won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award at the RNA awards in London.
Dani lives in a small village in the English countryside, in a 300 year old cottage, with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.
Where to buy: