“The Five Stages of Falling in Love” is a gut wrenching story about loss, grief, second chances at love and life and learning to move on. I loved this story, it moved me to tears; it’s a sad, almost depressing story, but it’s also a story that made me smile. The story is beautifully written in a very respectful way and from the emotional prologue I knew this story it will be different and so special to me.
“Not every story has a happy ending. Some only hold a happy beginning.”
Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Carlson’s life was as perfect as a life can be. With a great home, a successful business, four beautiful children and a loving, wonderful husband she never expected her life to be shattered so much. Everything changes for Liz’s family when she loses her husband to cancer. Overwhelmed by her pain, Liz doesn’t know how to move on, how to live again, how to be a mother to her four young children.
“The cold hard truth was that I wasn’t enough. I had never been enough. My marriage was a partnership built on mutual love and shared responsibility. The house had run as smoothly as the chaos of four little ones would allow, but we ran it together.”
Grief and depression rules most of her moods. Everything is harder now without her husband, Grady.
Time passes and Liz still struggles with her new reality. She still misses Grady and she tries hard to be both mother and father for her children. Liz meets Ben, a mid-thirties handsome lawyer who purchases the house next doors to hers. Ben is a good neighbor and eventually be becomes a good friend for Liz. He helps her with her house and occasionally with her children and slowly makes her realize that it’s ok to accept help.
Time passes and Ben starts to want more with Liz. He knows Liz suffered a great loss and he’s ready to do anything for her and also for her children, he’s ready to wait for her. With her family and Ben’s help, Liz learns to live again and to realize that she’s capable to love again.
Like I mentioned, this story moved me profoundly. I never knew such a great loss like Liz experienced, but my heart broke for her and for her four children. Liz’s emotional journey was sad, her emotions felt real and honestly, sometimes like I mentioned above everything was a little depressing to read about it. The prologue was heartbreaking and for sure will grip you by the heart and hit you straight in the feels.
Liz was a character I sympathize with so damn much. “Watching” her working her way through the five stages of grief was fantastic as much as it was gut wrenching simply because her character was inspiring.
There were so many times when I wanted to give her a hug, to tell her to move on, that everything will be alright and I’m so glad she found the strength to do it, to find the strength to be the same wonderful mother she was until Grady’s death. Her struggle to get involved with Ben and to accept that she has feelings for him felt real and I totally understood her hesitation.
Ben was an amazing character. This man has all my admiration. He was simply perfect. If at first he’s reluctant to get close to Liz and her children, after spending some time with them he’s bewitched by all of them. He becomes not only Liz’s friend, but Liz’s children friend as well. With Liz he was from the beginning the ‘perfect’ friend. He was willing to help her with anything, to do anything for her. He was attentive, supportive, caring and so, so patient. And I loved him for that. But most of all I loved him because he accepted that Grady was Liz’s first love and because he never tried to replaced him. The tenderness and the interactions between Ben and Liz’s kids melt my heart. Even if all his life was a bachelor, he knew how to interact with the four kids. He fell for them as much as he fell for Liz.
Ben and Liz’s romantic relationship progressed naturally. Nothing felt rushed and honestly I never judged Liz for falling for Ben simply because I knew Brady will always be in her heart no matter what.
As for the supportive characters – I loved them all. Liz’s parents, her sister, her brother and mother in law and of course the four young children were fantastic.
The writing was flawless and emotive and all I can say is that I’m looking forward to read more adult contemporary novels by this author.