It was my pleasure to be involved in the cover reveal for Amelia Henley’s The Life We Almost Had back in March just as lockdown was starting and there seemed an irony in the title somehow. You can read why that cover reveal was so important to me here. Now, as life cautiously returns to normal, I’m thrilled to bring my review of The Life We Almost Had.
The Life We Almost Had will be published on 23rd July by Harper Collins imprint HQ and is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Life We Almost Had
This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.
Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.
Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…
A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, how far would you go for a second chance at first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.
My Review of The Life We Almost Had
Anna and Adam find love when they least expect it.
Before I begin my review proper I have to confess that I was terrified of reading The Life We Almost Had. You see, I love Amelia Henley’s writing as Louise Jensen and I had been sitting on the secret of her romantic fiction since her participation in the Deepings Literary Festival in May 2019 when she told me about it. Given that I knew I’d be featured in the acknowledgements too and Louise/Amelia is such a lovely person I was so worried that I might not enjoy The Life We Almost Had. I didn’t enjoy it. I absolutely adored it and it has gone straight on my list of books of the year.
It’s not going to be possible to say much about the plot of The Life We Almost Had because it would spoil the read for others, but it is meticulously planned so that every tiny detail has a crucial place that is only apparent once the entire book is read. As the story progresses, it is evident that Amelia Henley has painstakingly researched aspects that contribute to both plot and theme, but again I can’t be more specific as it would give too much away. However, I will say that The Life We Almost Had teaches the reader to appreciate what they have and to listen – properly listen – to those they love.
The quality of Amelia Henley’s writing is gorgeous. The longer descriptive passages are perfectly balanced by shorter sentences and questions that convey such deep emotion that I had to stop reading several times just to recover because it felt as if my heart would break. These same questions make the reader feel as if they are part of the narrative too as they draw them in. The Life We Almost Had should come with a health warning. It isn’t possible to read this story without being completely altered by it and without shedding copious tears. I felt shattered afterwards and it took me some while to regain my composure.
Anna and Adam are incredibly warm, human, flawed, beautiful and real. I fell for them both without reservation. The depth of their love reverberates through every syllable of the narrative and yet Amelia Henley still manages to make them totally realistic in their ability to bicker and to hurt one another, so that they make The Life We Almost Had feel like it could be about any of us. Amelia Henley paints an intimate portrait of their relationship that is truly exceptional. Secondary characters are equally well developed so that I finished The Life We Almost Had feeling as if I knew them all personally. I seem to be unable to stop thinking about them all.
I’m aware that this review is both vague and inadequate, but The Life We Almost Had is such an emotional and affecting book that I don’t want to spoil it for others by revealing too much and I’m not sure I have access to sufficient superlatives to describe it. The Life We Almost Had ranks as one of the most emotional and affecting books I’ve ever read and has caused me to look at my loved ones with fresh eyes. I thought it was simply superb and defy even the most hard hearted and unemotional reader to read it and not be irrevocably changed in the process. Don’t miss it because it is superb.
About Amelia Henley
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
The Life We Almost Had is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and she can’t wait to share it with readers.