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The Dead Wife's Handbook [Paperback]

Hannah Beckerman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 Feb 2014

The Dead Wife's Handbook is the stunning emotional debut from author Hannah Beckerman.

'Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.'

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life - until the night Rachel's heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can't forget her, Rachel can't quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she's lost and the life she'll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.

Hannah Beckerman gives an unforgettable exploration of love and loss in her first novel, The Dead Wife's Handbook.

Praise for The Dead Wife's Handbook:

'Beautifully written and full of love' Fern Britton

'A moving and intriguing debut novel' Fabulous Magazine

'A lovely, sad and heart-breaking story that hits you on subtle levels provoking big reactions, deep thoughts and emotions. A fantastic debut novel' Lainey, alwaysreading.net

'It has the potential to change your life' Erin, Erin's Choice

'The Dead Wife's Handbook is filled with emotion, raw and real, which will no doubt be the tear-jerker of the year' Kevin, I Heart ChickLit

'So many times I have heard people talk about how a book has changed their life and just thought "that's ridiculous" but now I truly understand that saying' Victoria, Victoria Loves Books

'A real celebration of love, life and the human spirit' Hadenmaiden, Goodreads

'One of the most beautiful portrayals of grief I will probably ever read' Leah, ChickLit Reviews and News

Hannah Beckerman is a former TV and film producer living in London. The Dead Wife's Handbook is her first novel.


Frequently Bought Together

The Dead Wife's Handbook + A Hundred Pieces of Me
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (13 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718178149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718178147
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hannah Beckerman is a former TV and film producer who spent fifteen years producing and commissioning documentaries about the Arts, History and Science before turning her hand to writing.

She is the author of The Dead Wife's Handbook and has contributed short stories to The Sunday Express and Sunlounger2. She is also freelance journalist for the FT Weekend Magazine.

Hannah lives in London with her husband and their incredibly lively toddler. She is currently writing her second novel.

Product Description

Review

Beautifully written and full of love (Fern Britton)

A moving and intriguing debut novel (Fabulous Magazine)

A lovely, sad and heart-breaking story that hits you on subtle levels provoking big reactions, deep thoughts and emotions. A fantastic debut novel. (Lainey, alwaysreading.net)

It has the potential to change your life (Erin, Erin's Choice)

The Dead Wife's Handbook is filled with emotion, raw and real, which will no doubt be the tearjerker of the year (Kevin, I Heart ChickLit)

So many times I have heard people talk about how a book has changed their life and just thought 'that's ridiculous' but now I truly understand that saying (Victoria, Victoria Loves Books)

A real celebration of love, life and the human spirit (Hadenmaiden, Goodreads)

One of the most beautiful portrayals of grief I will probably ever read (Leah, ChickLit Reviews and News)

A compelling and beautifully written account of . . . the grieving process. An emotional and yet uplifting read (Karen, My Reading Corner)

It is certainly an emotional journey, but one that is so adeptly delivered, that makes you feel more alive and grateful for having experienced it (ChickLit Club)

If this story doesn't pierce your heart and leave you looking at your nearest and dearest in sheer wonderment then, I'm sorry, but you have failed to appreciate the depth of emotion contained within its pages (Charlotte, Best ChickLit.com)

A tale of grief told from a unique perspective, beautifully written, heartfelt and impassioned, this one will have you reaching for the tissues - some of those tears will be happy ones (Liz, Liz Loves Books)

Really tugged at my heartstrings and . . . kept me captivated throughout (Cat, Goodreads)

The Dead Wife's Handbook is one of the best and most original books I've ever read. It's deep, emotional and thought-provoking (Ana, This Chick Reads)

A spellbinding story which I couldn't put down (Glenda, Goodreads)

The Dead Wife's Handbook is a captivating story that will take you on an emotional journey (Megan, Reading in the Sunshine)

About the Author

Hannah Beckerman is a former TV and film producer living in London. The Dead Wife's Handbook is her first novel

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, incredible book 26 Aug 2014
By Sophie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Dead Wife’s Handbook is without a doubt, the most beautifully written novel I have ever read. I read this book a few months ago and simply because of how stunning it was, and how I really couldn’t write anything to do Hannah Beckerman’s writing justice, I never wrote my review. Which led me to my bank holiday re-read of a book I thought I could love no more, and one which massively proved me wrong. I’m not sure whether it’s because I have still been thinking about the characters in this book since the first time I read it, or because seeing my mum pass away six weeks ago has made me connect so much more with the grief and emotions the characters feel in this novel, but second time around, The Dead Wife’s Handbook felt more beautiful and thought-provoking than I could ever have imagined.

That this novel is Hannah Beckerman’s first book is beyond ridiculous. She masters the art of emotional, moving writing here like no author I’ve read. Hannah comes across as an immensely talented author and her originality shone through in The Dead Wife’s Handbook. Rachel is the protagonist in this book, which begins on the first year anniversary of her death. In the afterworld, she has been granted brief moments of access to watch over her husband, Max and her young daughter, Ellie, alongside her family and friends. I think lots of people believe that when they die, they would want their loved ones to live their lives and be happy but for Rachel, having to watch her family try to move on, is extremely painful. I couldn’t help but empathise with her, because of course she wanted Max to be happy, but how difficult must it be to see him dating new people, and bringing a new woman into her daughter’s life?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly amazing book! 15 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback
I won a signed copy of this novel in a competition and couldn’t wait to read it and post a review for Hannah who I got know a bit about after spending time chatting with her on twitter. I went on to choose this as the March read for the book group I’m a member of which is why I didn’t want to post my review until after the meeting.

The first thing that drew me in was the gorgeous cover - the colours are so vibrant and stunning - I just wanted to pick it up and run my hands repeatedly over it. The synopsis also hooked me as it hinted at an unusual story that piqued my interest - I’d always thought I’d like to be able to check on the family if I was to go first!!

The book revolves around Rachel, who dies suddenly, without warning and that of her husband Max and daughter Ellie, along with their family and friends who are trying to help them build a new life for themselves without Rachel. Rachel is able to glimpse snippets of her former life through a cloud like haze and the story is told through her.

I knew this book would be an emotional one - who wouldn’t be moved by the grief of a family struggling to rebuild their lives after the mother is snatched from them? What I wasn’t prepared for was the range of emotions I felt. This book was of a size that I’d normally devour in the course of a week-end but it took me almost a week to read as I had to keep stopping to gather my thoughts.

Hannah’s descriptions were so vivid - I cried, I laughed and I had arguments inside my head and willed things to happen or not! Whoever thought it might be nice to peak at ‘your’ life after you’ve gone is an idiot, it felt like such an act of cruelty. The total opposite of what I thought would be quite nice.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointed 19 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to reading this.

The idea is intriguing - not entirely original but then it doesn't necessarily need to be for me to enjoy the book; the cover was beautiful. I started reading with anticipation, very excited. But I was disappointed from the outset. It was one of those books where I had to put real effort in to continue. I didn't relate to the main character Rachel at all, only very slightly with her husband Max and only a little more with her daughter Ellie.

I felt it was all very predictable: grieving husband determined not to meet anyone else then falls completely in love with Eve; Rachel not keen on this to start with but then understanding and accepting when she realises her family left behind need to move on. I just didnt feel drawn into their turmoil and emotional journey and this was my biggest disappointment.

I found I could skim read pages at a time of Rachel wallowing in pity and still keep up with the story. It was so self indulgent.

The idea of Rachel being suspended in white space by herself didnt work for me, it was a bit too much like trying to create a film script.

I follow Hannah Beckerman on Twitter and enjoy her tweets but sorry Hannah, this one was not for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Happy Death Anniversary Rachel! Not words I'd ever though I'd write. This is the story of what happens after Rachel dies, narrated by Rachel as she looks down on her loved ones from a strange place, somewhere in between heaven and earth. She is allowed to see snippets of her husband Max, daughter Ellie, her best friend, her mother and her parent's in law and how they move on with their lives and what impression Rachel left behind. It's like the ultimate 'being allowed to see your own funeral' fantasy but what Rachel sees makes her laugh, cry and ultimately accept her fate.

The book is organised into 7 stages of grief; shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance. Which are similar to the traditional 5 stages of grief, trust me I did a Psychology degree :-) I liked the organisation of this, it gives the book clear structure without being too contrived and that each stage must be felt and worked through before the next can start.

I started this book as I meant to go on, crying. I shed a lot of tears over this book, I even kept notes of chapters I didn't cry through (chapter 6 and the end). But don't let this put you off, it's cathartic to have a good cry. I think this book struck a cord with me, having lost someone I loved dearly, I could clearly remember the stages of grief and how difficult they were. This book brought it all back and actually did help me.

I liked how Hannah dealt with the tricky afterlife issue, get it wrong and it's either too twee or too personal. This afterlife was hazy enough to not provide concrete answers and even Rachel has no idea what's going on and why she can see glimpses of her family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope after Death!
The story is about Rachel who dies unexpectedly leaving a husband and young child behind and ends up stuck in a no mans land viewing snippets of her former family's life going on... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Rani Shergill
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, Madly and Honestly
I actually avoided reading this book for sometime.Having read the blurb I feared it might be an emotionally manipulative rather over the top love story. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ms H A Stanton
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring read
Not very enjoyable. Okay for the first few chapters, but it becomes quite repetitive and very self indulgent on the protagonist's part. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Katherine Cuffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic yet uplifting
Review: I think the blurb of this book captures what is inside it more than anything else I've read recently. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Fabulous Book Fiend
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but dragged a bit at the end and some character flaws for...
liked this book in that the story was very different, heart wrenching and emotional on a subject that's rarely written about. Read more
Published 14 days ago by tquinn
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as expected
It was hard to live up to the awesome Lovely Bones and it didn't. Nice read but way too sentimental.
Published 14 days ago by nicky terry
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Hannah's style of writing
I downloaded this book a while ago, where's it's sat in my kindle, unloved until this week. i don't know why I hadn't read it before. From the first page I was captivated. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Marie31
1.0 out of 5 stars Mostly irritating I'm afraid....
Sorry I got bored and rather irritated by the constant references to time - days, weeks, that had gone by for the Wife who existed in an apparently 'timeless' place. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jan8
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A wonderfully written book!
Published 20 days ago by love
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
Went on a bit in fact it started to get boring, fast forwarded to the end by half way couldn't take any more
Published 20 days ago by suzanna burton
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