Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review & Author Interview ~ The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington.

Title: The Life You Left.
Author: Carmel Harrington.
Publisher: HarperImpulse.
Ebook Release Date: June 19, 2014.
Paperback Release Date: July 3, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

“Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need…
Tell the children I love them.
- Paul”

It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the packed lunches and juggling baby Ella’s feeds. There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.

Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her children’s questions about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate. But it turns out she isn’t quite as alone as she thought she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks she’s finally been thrown a life line.

There’s just one problem with Edward: no one else can see him.

Edward is an angel. And he has a message for Sarah that will change her life and the lives of others forever. For it is only in the most difficult of times that Sarah can discover how strong she truly is.







Anyone who even remotely knows me is aware of how overly-excited I’ve been for The Life You Left and Carmel Harrington yet again blew me away with this fabulous book.

Right away this book captured my attention as we hear about a mysterious email sent to Sarah from her husband Paul, saying he wasn’t coming home that night. In what could have been an intriguing story on its own, The Life You Left had much more of an edge to it than that with the fascinating addition of Sarah’s guardian angel Edward. I loved this concept and the way it affected Sarah’s everyday life and I was always interested in Edward’s role as Sarah tried to rebuild her life and support her family.

I also loved Carmel’s wonderful character development. Not only does she bring us a fab main character in Sarah, one who was really easy to like and empathise with, there’s a brilliant cast of supporting characters. Sarah’s brother James was my favourite supporting character – I loved his relationship with Sarah and how supportive he was of her. Carmel always writes side characters which you know would be capable of having a brilliant book themselves and I felt like that about Ruby and James amongst others.

After a great start to this book, I loved how it just kept getting better. The Life You Left had everything – from family, love, protectiveness to more harder-hitting and sensitive issues. I really connected with Sarah in this novel and her wonderful, strong personality makes her probably my favourite leading character in any book I can remember reading. Her care for her family and even for people she doesn’t know all that much, plus the way she always picked herself back up and fought for the people she loved made her a really fantastic, inspirational character.

I have been waiting very impatiently for The Life You Left and it definitely did not disappoint! Carmel packed plenty into this simply stunning novel and wrote it to perfection.



Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon




Tell us about your second novel, The Life You Left.

The Life You Left centres around Sarah Lawler and her twin brother James. Sarah’s life is thrown into turmoil by two events. Her husband Paul disappears and an old childhood friend, Edward reappears. Edward is unlike most friends though, as he is an angel and only Sarah can see him. He comes with a message to Sarah that will change her life forevermore.


The Life You Left has a very different concept to Beyond Grace’s Rainbow – were you nervous about how readers would react to that given how popular Beyond Grace’s Rainbow has been?

Sophie, I really was nervous. It is a different story, it’s darker with a bigger mystery/suspense element in it too, but its written in the same style, with lots of emotion, laughter and tears throughout. I don’t think I breathed for about a week when the first ARC’s went out to book reviewers like yourself!


The Life You Left is blessed with great characters – who was your personal favourite?

I think I have two! James, because he was a dream to write. A gorgeous, cheeky man, loved it. In particular there is a scene in a gym that still makes me chuckle as I imagine it! I also loved Michelle’s character. She is such a horrible person, it was fun to try to get inside her head and work out what makes her tick!


Are the characters inspired from people you know?

Not in the least, but I can tell you that my brother John and I, have the kind of relationship that Sarah and James have.


What, if anything, are you hoping readers can take from The Life You Left?

Well, I hope that it gives the reader hope that no matter how tough life can get, when you dig deep within yourself, its amazing the strength you really possess. If it leaves them thinking about the characters long after they turn the last page, I’m so happy.


Are you doing anything to celebrate the publication?

Sophie, I’m so lucky, because the paperback launch happens in a Castle! Imagine that, a real castle and me! Focal - Wexford Literary Festival are hosting my launch for me and we will have wine, cheese, canap├ęs and strawberries and cream! I can’t wait.


If The Life You Left was being made into a film, who would you want cast as the main characters?

Sophie, this is hard!! Theres an Irish actress called Amy Huberman who would be a great Sarah. Maybe Michael Fassbender as Edward and James, Gerald Butler!


What has been the biggest highlight for you about publishing your second novel?

I’ve had so many, it’s hard to chose, but I think seeing the early reviews come in, with such a positive reaction for TLYL, was pretty exciting. I love to write so much, it’s a gift to get such a response back from readers, it really is!


What’s next for you now?

In between book signings and promo for the book release, I am speaking at a Literary Festival in Wexford and also need to finish my third book, a sequel to Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.


Thank you so much for having me on your blog Sophie!

Carmel x

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I just skimmed your review since I have this one for review too. I am glad that you loved it.

    ReplyDelete

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