My enormous thanks to Emma Knight at Hodder for a surprise copy of The Rest of Me by Katie Marsh in return for an honest review. I love Katie Marsh’s writing and I reviewed My Everything here when I first began blogging (and how the blog has changed since then!). I have a review of A Life Without You here and of This Beautiful Life here which was also one of my books of the year in 2017.
In addition, I was thrilled to host a guest post here by Katie all about the playlists of her life when This Beautiful Life was published and honoured to attend the book’s launch.
Published by Hodder, The Rest of Me is available for purchase through these links.
The Rest of Me
Alex Fox knows there are lots of things she should be.
She should be the perfect wife to her chronically ill husband Sam, and the perfect mother to their two daughters. She should be excelling in her high-stress job. And she should be completing the demanding to-do lists she makes to keep herself on track.
Even if, just sometimes, she doesn’t have time to breathe.
When Sam’s condition worsens and Alex donates a kidney to save his life, her carefully scheduled existence starts to unravel – eventually forcing her to face up to a past that she has buried for years.
As the family she has fought so hard for threatens to fall apart, can Alex finally confront the mistakes that have shaped her – and rediscover what is most important in life?
The Rest of Me is an emotional and uplifting story which will make you laugh, cry and hug the people you love a little bit tighter.
My Review of The Rest Of Me
Alex Foxy Fox is superwoman until life reminds her we’re all human.
I have loved everything Katie Marsh has written so I was extremely apprehensive about reading The Rest of Me. I didn’t want to be disappointed. Oh – I wasn’t. I think The Rest of Me may be her best book yet. There’s a depth of emotion and raw honesty between the pages of The Rest of Me that hit me in the solar plexus and knocked me for six. I didn’t just read about the emotion in The Rest of Me, but rather felt it physically so that my heart feels a little bit bruised as a result.
Alex is so fabulous a character. I defy any woman (and that may sound sexist but I don’t care) to read about Alex and not understand her or feel a little bit of her personality in themselves. Her desperate need to maintain her shell of competence at all costs, her ‘self-bullying’ and her unhappiness as she loses sight of the real things in life that matter are all too familiar. I felt as if Katie Marsh had looked into my soul, understood me and had written a novel just for me to help me understand myself better. At the risk of being accused of hyperbole, I genuinely think Katie Marsh has a Shakespearean understanding of humanity.
The others in the story are perfectly depicted too. Izzy is a triumph and, although I don’t have children of my own, I can envisage mothers looking at their children anew having read The Rest of Me.
The wonderful plot is so clever. Aside from the major event of donating a kidney to Sam, Alex’s life is one we can all relate to as it revolves around juggling work and home. So often I wanted to step into the narrative, grasp Alex by the shoulders and shake her until she understood what she was doing – not because the story didn’t work, but because it worked so well I couldn’t bear what was happening to her. I was desperate for her to find happiness, and the depth of sadness I felt as I read is beyond description.
I genuinely believe reading The Rest of Me has changed me as a person. Once again Katie Marsh’s words have made me reappraise my life and helped me understand what is truly important. If you’ve yet to discover her as an author, what are you waiting for? Your life will never be the same again.
About Katie Marsh
Katie lives in south-west London with her family. Before being published she worked in healthcare, and her novels are inspired by the bravery of the people she met in hospitals and clinics across the country. Her first novel My Everything (available here) was picked by the Evening Standard as one of the hottest summer debuts of 2015.
She loves strong coffee, the feel of a blank page and stealing her husband’s toast. When not writing, she spends her time in local parks trying and failing to keep up with her daughter’s scooter.