Review of The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman



Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems. As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.


Thank you to the lovely Katie at Penguin Books for kindly sending me a review copy. We’re pretty sure that my postman has the first copy which was sent…

Seriously, where do I start with this book? It’s beautiful, just beautiful. For months now, book bloggers have been beyond excited for this book ever since the news was announced and when it finally arrived through my door, I read straight away.

The prologue is a complete eye opener. All the ‘what if’ questions regarding death, leaving family and friends behind are answered. I became part of Rachel’s world very quickly – I absolutely loved her as a character and I felt that it was a real shame that we didn’t see her alive.

Hannah’s writing style is very philosophical, unique yet straight to the point. Every question about life is in that book and they’re answered extremely well. The conversations are very realistic and believable. There isn’t a line which made me question – would this happen or would it happen in a different way? The plot didn’t feel forced at all and it flowed very smoothly – I couldn’t put it down! I missed my daily episode of Hollyoaks because I was that addicted.

The point of view throughout the narrative is from Rachel. Despite her death, she’s still there – watching her husband, Max and their daughter Ellie. For me, Ellie made the novel. Without her, I would have cried constantly but with her little inputs here and there, she really made me feel uplifted. She made my heart ache with her cute little lines – But does that mean mummy’s really never coming home? Hannah’s words are very powerful and will pull on your heart strings all the way though.

This is a book which you will need to take your time with because a lot happens and with Hannah’s writing style, if you blink, you’ve missed something. The sentences are very well structured and every single line counts. The book itself teaches its readers not to take life for granted and to accept everything that happens.

Twitter: @hannahbeckerman
Website: http://www.hannahbeckerman.com/