28 February 2016

Book Review: Time to Say Goodbye by S. D. Robertson

"Is there ever a right time to let go?

How do you leave the person you love the most?

Will Curtis’s six-year-old daughter, Ella, knows her father will never leave her. After all, he promised her so when her mother died. And he’s going to do everything he can to keep his word.

What Will doesn’t know is that the promise he made to his little girl might be harder to keep than he imagined. When he’s faced with an impossible decision, Will finds that the most obvious choice might not be the right one.

But the future is full of unexpected surprises. And father and daughter are about to embark on an unforgettable journey together . . ."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy the book now.

Another debut novel that I have read and enjoyed this is the new book from author S. D. Robertson, an emotional tale called Time to Say Goodbye. Just from reading the synopsis, I knew that this was going to be a hard book for me to read as a parent, and I was right, I found this difficult from the beginning and in only got harder to read as the book went on. Despite that, I couldn't put it down because the writing was extremely good, I really cared about the story, and it was just a compelling read. The book is written by a male author, for a male perspective as the main character, and I really actually enjoyed reading something different for a change!

Will is a single father to his 6 year old daughter Emily, who are a team after the untimely death of Emily's mother. Will loves being a father, and has promised Emily he will always be there for her, especially now there is just the two of them. But when Will is the victim in an accident, he is forced to rethink that promise, and is left with an awful decision to have to make. How is Will going to be able to make this tough choice, and possibly leave his daughter Emily behind, all alone in the world?

As you can see, this is a particularly tough subject, and although I have read a few books along this theme now, it doesn't get any easier. As a parent, there are 2 thoughts that I never want to have to contemplate - one is losing my child, and the other is knowing I am going to die and leave my child behind without me. Both scares me stupid, and this book confronts one of these issues head on. I don't want to give away too much as much of the pleasure in this book was seeing how the story unfolded, and exactly what decisions Will had to make and why he made them.

Robertson has created a wonderful relationship between the main character of Will and his daughter in the book - they are extremely close, having only each other, and it was a joy to read their pairing. There was a good twist on this story within this book, and you could really feel Will's heartbreak as the story progresses, and he is confronted with some awful choices. You can really feel how much Will loves his daughter, dreads leaving her behind and it is heart-breaking in places. As Will realises what is happening, your heart breaks for him because I know I would be feeling the same thing he is, the same desperation he feels to stay with Emily, and it honestly had me in floods of tears.

I did wonder for a while if the author was writing from some sort of personal experience because the emotion in the book felt so real, so raw that it completely drew me in and made me feel it too. Will's desperation, his parents grief and sorrow, and the small way his daughter soldiers on despite her own heartbreak is so beautifully written, so touchingly done that you are completely pulled into Will's world, desperate for a happy that although you know probably cannot come, you crave anyway. The book is slow-paced but has to be for this story to unfold properly, and you simply won't be able to put it down once you have begun, even once your many tears have started to flow. Yes, it was a hard story to read, heart-breaking and sad at its core, but is truly the story of the ultimate love, that between a parent and a child which is never-ending. A gorgeous debut, that I can highly recommend, but make sure you've got the tissues nearby.

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