Review: The Life Intended

January 7, 2015 book review, Gallery Books, Kristin Harmel, loss of loved one 7


The Life IntendedWritten By:  Kristin Harmel

Published By:  Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, December 30, 2015

Length:  368 pages

Source: e galley via Edelweiss with permission from publisher in consideration of an honest review.





In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

After her husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn’t she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she’s really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined. (publisher)

My Thoughts:  Kate Waithman is a woman who has had big love and loss in her life.  Her husband Patrick was killed in a freak car accident, and it’s taken her 12 years to be at a place where she feels she can love again.  In a whirlwind Kate is recently engaged to Dan, and she’s also finding out some unsettling news about her chances of having children.  Then the dreams come.  Dreams so lifelike Kate feels like she’s living in two worlds.  In the dream there is Patrick and they are happily married and there is a daughter who is hard of hearing.  Her heart soars when she is with Patrick, he makes her feel like she is a better person.  Her questions take her down new roads, and she finds a way to use her role as a music therapist to help a new type of patient.  Kate finds out much more about herself, and finds her heart.

I could go on and on about this book, simply put, it was beautiful, and brilliant, unique, gut wrenching and heart breaking.  Kristin Harmel has taken a character and given her such pain and yet heart and a desire to recover and love again.  This journey seems so out of character for Kate, learning sign language taking on new clients becoming friends with a man she knows nothing about.  Her fiancé Dan is confused too.

I admire Harmel for bringing so many great topics into her book.  We’re given a window into music therapy, the foster care system, children who are hard of hearing, and the  use of cochlear implants. Readers will be pulled into Kate’s story, her struggle to define what these dreams are trying to tell her.  There are few people who haven’t wondered about the path not taken, or if one small thing had changed in their life.  In The Life Intended Kate has that opportunity through her dreams and the changes she makes.

I highly recommend this book! It’s just been published a week ago, and it’s available in trade paperback.  Learn more about the author, Kristin Harmel on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


7 Responses to “Review: The Life Intended”

  1. ondbookshelf

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. I was immediately drawn to the cover, so glad it’s beautiful on the inside too.

  2. Beth Hoffman

    Terrific review, Anita. I’ve had this book on my list since I first heard about it.

  3. Trisha

    I usually don’t read books like this, but this is the second time I’ve heard of it and both times I’ve found it appealing.

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