It’s almost exactly a year since I reviewed the lovely Sheila O’Flanagan’s Three Weddings and a Proposal here on Linda’s Book Bag and I’m thrilled to be able to share my review of Sheila’s latest book What Eden Did Next for the blog tour today. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
Previously when Sheila celebrated the paperback publication day for The Women Who Ran Away, I was delighted to be able to share an extract from the book here.
Sheila and I stayed in together here to chat about Her Husband’s Mistake.
Published by Headline on 28th April 2022, What Eden Did Next is available for purchase through the links here.
What Eden Did Next
Five years after the death of her firefighter husband, Eden knows better than anyone that life can change in an instant. Now, instead of the future she had planned with Andy, she has Lila – the daughter he never got the chance to meet. And instead of Andy, she has his family.
Then Eden meets someone. Someone she knew before Andy, before Lila, before the tragedy. Someone who reminds her of how she used to be. But Andy’s mother has other plans. And Eden is facing an impossible choice. One that could tear a family apart . . .
Honest and emotionally gripping, What Eden Did Next is an irresistible, sometimes heart-breaking, ultimately joyful, novel of love, loss – and finding your own way to happiness.
My Review of What Eden Did Next
If you’re looking for a fast paced, twisty Adrenalin packed read, find something else. If, however, you want a story that speaks to the heart and soul of who we really are, that understands grief, and loss, and hope, and leaves you totally satisfied as you finish reading, then What Eden Did Next is exactly what you need. I adored it and might even go so far as to say it is my favourite Sheila O’Flanagan book.
There’s romance and a traditional love story here, but more than that there’s an exploration of love in many forms. Sheila O’Flanagan presents to perfection the ways love can shape us both positively and negatively, how it can consume and overwhelm us, and how it can make us behave totally unselfishly and in the worst ways imaginable. What Eden Did Next also looks at family, community and friendship and makes the reader feel included and heartened.
Whilst there are dramatic moments, the plot is relatively gentle but all the more engaging for being totally realistic. This is because it makes What Eden Did Next feel completely authentic. Eden could be any one of us, making her relatable and striking. I loved meeting her. Equally, I adored Elizabeth for her lightness of touch and her philosophy of making the most of life. I found Valerie all too domineering and frequently wanted to shake the Petras, Michelles and Krystles of the cast so that it really did feel as if I’d met real people. I found all life represented here without cliche or contrivance, but rather this community sparkles and engages in its very normality. I thought this was absolutely wonderful writing.
What Eden Did Next is a glorious insight into the roles women assume in society and the support and pressures families can bring. It’s warm, mature and insightful. I loved it and recommend it unreservedly.
About Sheila O’Flanagan
Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of nearly 30 bestselling novels including Three Weddings and a Proposal, The Women Who Ran Away, Her Husband’s Mistake, The Hideaway, The Missing Wife and All For You (winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award). She lives in Dublin with her husband.
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