Publisher: Orenda 10th June 2021. ISBN: 978-1913193614
Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss. When a misguided well-wisher tells her that ‘everything happens for a reason’, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she’s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.
Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results. Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.
I can’t wait to read this because I’ve experienced pregnancy loss and I know how hard it is to make sense of the overwhelming grief. People throw platitudes at you when they don’t know what to say, so I can understand how Rachel latches on to this one and can’t let go. Any reason, even the improbable, is often better than the bottomless pit of unknowing. How could this much loss and grief have no real reason? People queued up to tell me that I was young and would have lots more chances to have a child – as if the one I’d lost was merely a doll replaceable by a new purchase. I also blamed myself, because I’d been working as a counsellor at an MS charity, and had volunteered to help them price up and place stock in their new charity shop. I’d been moving boxes and bending up and down. I was convinced for months that I’d caused the loss of my baby. I always bond with a character when there’s a common experience at the heart of things. I just know I’ll be reading this with the tissues handy.