I’m going to be 100% honest here, I had intended to pass on this book. I adored M. Ullrich’s last book, but when reading the synopsis for Life in Death, I was stuck on the fact that this book would tackle the loss of a child. I cannot imagine the pain that these characters were going to endure, and quite frankly I did not want to even go there. So, I was going to look away, but the enormous amount of positive reviews kept catching my eye, and a few people reached out to me and raved about this book. So I caved, and I read the book, and kept reading, and kept reading some more until it was finished, all in one night.
I will say this book is a gauntlet of emotions. The book begins with a window into a perfect little family, two women who love each other dearly, and their amazing little girl, who rightfully so, it the light of their lives. You know it’s’ coming, like the shark in Jaws, you can feel the foreboding, the shoe is about to drop. Abigail the daughter of Marty and Suzanne has cancer, and she will lose her battle with the awful disease. A life cut way too short, and her parent’s relationship fractured beyond belief.
This book is a roller coaster of emotions, you will feel your heart break right along Marty and Suzanne. The pain at times is palatable, tears streaming down your face as you feverishly read, totally engrossed in the story. Is it good? Oh my goodness yes, this book is very good. Life in Death takes you on a road of telling the past, mixed in with the present. You see how Marty and Suzanne found each other, and why they broke. You cheer for their road back together, knowing all the while these two will never be whole without the other. This one will stay with you long after the last chapter. A fantastic read, I do recommend waterproof mascara and tissues! My only real criticism, the ending was a touch too short.
4 out of 5 stars
I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Life in Death
by M. Ullrich
M. Ullrich has written one book. That one book is the Fortunate Sum. For this to be Ullrich’s first book, well that is just stunning. Stunning in the fact that this book is so very good, it was a fantastic read. My proverbial hat is off to you M. Ullrich (I would take a real hat off but I don’t wear them).
Catherine Carter is the epitome of all work and very little play. She has climbed the corporate ladder and her success has paid off career wise. She the youngest member and first female to make it to the top of her company, Maracati & Stevens. Dedication and drive fuel Catherine. Her life is her work. One the flip side she has very little personal life to speak of. She has goals mind you, to be married by 30, just a few months away, and to raise a family, but there are no prospects on the horizon. This all changes one evening when attending her best friend’s birthday party she is approached by a beautiful young woman and a psychic.
Imogene Harris is quirky, fun and successful in her own right. She has also suffered great losses in her life. The book begins as Imogene has just lost her grandfather, and guiding force in her life. Her grandfather mentored her, and took over the role of her father, after her dad was killed in the collapse of Tower Two on 9/11. Imogene relies heavily on her best friend, psychic, Sophia. Sophia comforts Imogene in her time of need, and talks her into going to a friend’s house for the upcoming party. This is where her life suddenly collides with Catherine Carter.
Both characters are chock-full of personality. They are relatable, interesting and have chemistry. Hallelujah! What makes it even better is these characters have flaws, perfect in many ways but deeply flawed in others, Catherine especially. I liked Catherine and Imogene tremendously, I liked them so much that when Catherine makes an epic mistake, total bonehead jackass move, I felt anger and disappointment in her. What’s great about that is that Ullrich made me feel an emotion towards this character, I was invested enough to actually care. That’s great writing y’all! My only point of contention with this book was I felt it needed another chapter or two finish it out. Overall fantastic read by an author that is very talented.
4.5 out of 5 stars