AUTHOR: Jess Rothenberg (rrp. £6.99; Penguin; OUT NOW)

VERDICT: An easygoing, rom-com novel with a twist.  A good read for die hard romantics.

REVIEW: When Brie hear’s the words ‘I don’t love you’ her heart breaks…literally.    So begins Brie’s afterlife, with the help of trusty aide Patrick, and with that comes a new understanding of the life she lived, the people she loved and the world she thought she knew.

This is a likeable book, with characters who genuinely make you laugh and situations which can be effectively heartbreaking. As Brie comes to terms with the fact she’s died, Rothenberg takes the reader through the five stages of grief choosing to explore the onslaught of extreme emotion from a very different point of view.     Though, of course, love is a very central theme to the novel it’s interesting to see how Brie grieves also for a life she can’t continue to hold together, or perhaps never did in the first place.  There are some acutely painful, tear jerking moments,  very much a testament to Rothenberg’s writing skill and her ability to create characters with whom we’ve come to care for.

Ultimately this is an epic love story. Yet the novel was enhanced by Rothenberg’s decision to try and understand the moral maze dictating our routes to heaven or hell. Subjects including reincarnation and suicide are broached, and interesting questions arise as a result.

Though I didn’t love the book, it was still enjoyable and I’d heartily recommend it to those die hard romantics looking for a story with a twist.



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