Morning my lovelies.  I hope you’re all happy and well!  Today I’m delighted to be one of the closing stops on the blog tour, and bringing you a review of With or Without You by Drew Davies; a thought provoking, moving, funny and uplifting story…….

book blurb & info

‘How long does a coma last?’ I ask.
‘Days, weeks, months?’ the nurse replies with a shrug, although her eyes are very kind.
‘But on average?’
She just smiles, unable to give me an answer.

Wendy’s life can be neatly divided into two: before and after.

Before her husband’s car accident, it was just the two of them. They never took the train at rush hour, and they avoided their noisy neighbour upstairs. Naveem devoted his spare time to vintage train models, and Wendy to re-reading the well-thumbed pages of her favourite books. It didn’t matter what others thought about their small, quiet life together – they were happy.

After the coma, Wendy barely recognises herself. When she’s not holding the love of her life’s hand, accompanied by the beep of the life-support machine, who is she? The nurse tells her to talk to Naveem – that he can still hear her – but she doesn’t have a single thing to say.

Suddenly Wendy can’t bear the silence. She needs something, anything, to talk to Naveem about. Suddenly she’s losing herself at fairgrounds packed with crowds and candyfloss, she’s at the airport, waiting for the whoosh of the planes as they take off, making friends with the neighbour she has spent over a decade avoiding.

Knowing that every breath her husband takes might be his last, Wendy has no choice but to try to carry on without him. Should she feel guilty about living while his life is on pause? And when – if – he wakes up, will he still love the woman she has become?

This poignant, moving and uplifting tale is for anyone who has taken life for granted, neglected to say ‘I love you’ to their loved ones, or forgotten to find happiness in the little things. Perfect for fans of Josie Silver, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Jojo Moyes.

Published by: Bookouture on 31st July 2020

Formats available: Paperback & eBook

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ Google

 

my thoughts

When Wendy gets a call to tell her that her Husband Naveem has had a car accident and is in a coma, her life changes more than she can imagine.  Used to a life that is quiet and ordered, Wendy can’t stand the silence anymore – too many questions going round in her brain.  And what follows is a funny and heartwarming tale of Wendy finding some of herself again whilst she sets off on adventures with her neighbour, Mrs Rampersad.

However, battling with her in-laws doesn’t help her state of mind, and Wendy has to decide what the best thing is to do.  Due to racial divides, Wendy was never accepted by his family, leading to estrangement.  But will they let bygones be bygones? And will Naveem pull through or does Wendy need to be ready for life on her own?

This was a thought-provoking, uplifting and funny story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I absolutely loved the way Wendy seems to come out of herself, and despite her age, finds a part of herself that has been hidden away for years.  Encouraged by Mrs Rampersad, Wendy goes places she hasn’t been for years, or ever before; enjoys time with her 6 year old nephew, Henry (who is adorable), enjoys flowers in her home and argues with more than one person!  She does some amateur sleuthing alongside Mrs Rampersad to try to learn more about her Husbands accident and his female passenger, and undertakes a stake out outside her in-laws home!  From the quiet, softly spoken woman comes a fiery and fun lady who Naveem would struggle to recognise.

The characters are brilliant. I loved Wendy (as you can tell) and Mrs Rampersad had me in stitches at times.  Naveem’s family will bring out all sorts of emotions, these will change over time….. I loved Magnus – a wonderful, and misunderstood man, he was the one I wanted to hug (there’s always one!).

The story covers lots of things that will get you thinking.  Loneliness, racism, friendship, mental health, marriage and love; and will bring out all your emotions.  Davies covers these subjects sensitively, and lightens up the book with light hearted humour which will make you chuckle.

My only niggle with this book was the way two of the main characters were referred to throughout the book.  Mrs Dixit and Mrs Rampersad – which, for me, made the flow of the story slightly clunky in places; as well as it taking me a while to feel invested in them.  It felt quite formal and I found myself just reading ‘Wendy’ whenever it said Mrs Dixit.  Not a huge issue, but a niggle nonetheless.

Overall, I did really enjoy this and would love to read more from Davies.  You will come away from this book feeling happy and uplifted, after a gentle rollercoaster ride and some hilarious moments.  If you’re looking for your next moving, thought-provoking, yet witty read then check this out.  Recommended by me.

review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

about the author

Drew Davies was born in London and grew up in Whanganui, New Zealand. He attended the Unitec School of Performing Arts in Auckland and won a Playmarket New Zealand Young Playwright of the Year award in 2000. After a brief stint on a kiwi soap, he has worked in Search for the past 15 years. Drew’s other claim to fame is that Stephen Fry once called him droll. Either that, or he got his name wrong. He now lives in Wanstead, London.
Where to find Drew online: Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Website

tour hosted by

Bookouture

Thanks to Sarah for inviting me on to the tour, and to Drew, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Have a wonderful day all, and I’ll be back tomorrow!

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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