Everything Happens for a Reason  by Katie Allen

A moving, hopeful, and humorous tale of loss

My rating:  5 out of 5

Luke was born “asleep” and Rachel writes him emails as she navigates her way through the following 12 months.   A heart-wrenching story, with many laugh out loud funny moments. 

As Rachel writes to her son, telling him everything she would have if he had been in her arms, so she looks for a reason as to why she lost him.  Her emails tell of her quest for answers, how she meets new friends, and the attempts at help she gets from old friends – with varying levels of success.   Rachel’s story unfolds through the format of her emails to Luke, some only a couple of lines, some a few pages long.  There are no conventional book chapters, rather each email is an event; there may be a few emails in a day, or some days with none.   Many are uplifting, some are heartbreaking, but all are brave and hopeful. 

From Rachel’s emails we can also see how her husband and extended family are coping, and as she writes so we see some very wise and humorous looks at life.

I gather that though this is definitely a novel, some parts are loosely biographical.   The writing is very moving, and I found myself totally involved with Rachel, and kept finding myself reading “just a bit more”.  This is certainly a novel where different readers will take away different things – but all readers will take away something meaningful. 

Warning:  Parts of this book are “laugh out loud” funny, which makes it a bit awkward if you are then asked by a stranger (say, on the train) what the book is about. 

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