BOOK REVIEW: The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel

What do you do when the life your perfect life is snatched away from you in an instant? In Kristin Harmel's new novel, The Life Intended, Kate is still dealing with the grief of losing her husband Patrick twelve years previously.

Having lost the love of her life in a car accident more than a decade ago, Kate is slowly coming to terms with Patrick's death and is getting ready to marry the lovely, handsome and reliable Dan. Of course, Dan will never replace Patrick, but Kate is finally starting to feel ready to move on.

Then, after some heartbreaking news from her doctor, Kate begins to reconsider her life plans. Does Dan want what she wants in life? Is he ready to have a family?

Kate's fears grow worse when she begins having vivid dreams about Patrick. Dreams of their old home, and their older selves, living a life that was never to be. The dreams seem impossible ­how could Patrick have aged? How does Katie remember everything in this 'other' life? And who is the young girl who appears in her dreams and calls her Mom?

Kate is convinced that the strange dreams are significant, but sister Gina and best friend Susan believe that it's simply down to her inner guilt of finally moving on. But how can she move on, when she's somehow living an alternate life?

Especially when things in the dreams have become reality; that there are events Kate would not have known about had it not been for the perfect existence she lives in her sleep. It's clear that these aren't just dreams, and that this other life ­ the life that should have been ­ is trying to tell her something, and lead her to what she's been looking for...

I hadn't read Kristin Harmel's previous work before I was sent The Life Intended, so I didn't know what to expect ­ but what I got was a beautifully moving, magical read that I finished in a day. Kate's grief is heartbreaking from the start of the story, even more so when her dreams began (and I am not one to usually get so emotional!) I felt compelled to read on just to see what she would do next, to see where her 'other' life would take her. I don't want to go into too much detail and reveal any spoilers, but The Life Intended is such a wonderful read. The twist at the end is perfect, but to explain what I loved most about this novel would potentially spoil the ending! So I will just say that what I loved most of all was Kate's own happy-ever-after.

Rating: 5/5

1 comment

  1. One of my favorites too.
    Great review! Glad to see that you're hosting ICLM this year. It's a lot of fun. :)