Twelve letters. That's what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she's dying. Twelve letters to see him through the first year without her, and to lead him a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again.
... delicate and heart-wrenching ... Grief is never easy. It's difficult to process, and even more difficult to write about. Higgins does a wonderful job telling such an emotionally wrought story. Following Joshua on his successes and failures, both big and small, is an unforgettable ride, and the friends he makes along the way are quite entertaining ... you will adore how Higgins has crafted one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. It will make you cry but also leave you breathless and aching for a love like Joshua and Lauren’s.
Lauren’s point of view anchors the alternating chapters, which tell the story of her relationship with Josh in reverse chronological order, from her last days to the first time they met. Higgins is a master of snappy dialogue, and her characters are authentic and relatable—a must for this type of novel. The heart of the story is tragic, but just like real life, there’s humor hidden in the darkest moments. This warm, bighearted story about grief, family, and the redemptive power of love will appeal to fans of Katherine Center and Jennifer Weiner.
... doesn’t strike the right balance of happy and sad; the narrative skews heavily toward sorrow. Higgins turns away from her books’ usual story lines (independent women and their relationships) and instead focuses on Joshua as he tries to survive grief and finds direction and strength in Lauren’s letters. Higgins writes that Joshua has autism spectrum disorder, a fact that doesn’t much enter into his characterization in this novel ... The emotion is heavy in this tearjerker. Reading its dramatic and moving exploration of loss is like being lost on a cold, gray day, with no way home. Higgins’s easy-to-read prose and romanticizing tone make this a good match for fans of Nicholas Sparks.