Welcome to my blog this morning for a review of How to Save a Life by Clare Swatman. I would like to say a huge Thankyou to Rachels Random Resources for organising this tour and providing me with an E copy of this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
Let's begin by finding out a little about the book.....
UPDATE: This book is now published under the name 'The Night We First Met'
One night in December, twenty-two year old Ted Green makes his way to Waterloo Bridge determined to end his life. Lonely, despairing and utterly hopeless, it seems the only choice to make. That same night in December, Marianne Cooper is running away from a party. Having found her boyfriend in a passionate clinch with someone else, Marianne can’t get away fast enough. But as she makes her way along London’s South Bank, a figure catches her eye on top of the bridge. Then she sees him, a man ready to jump. When Marianne saves Ted’s life, this night in December becomes one they’ll never forget, but as Ted watches Marianne leave in a black taxi, all he can think is he should have asked her name. In a story spanning twenty years, join Ted and Marianne as they navigate life’s twists and turns, joys and heartbreaks, while all the time wondering - will fate ever bring them together again…
I was very excited to be a part of this book tour as I absolutely loved reading Clare's book 'Before we grow old' That was such a lovely story and you can read my review of that here. I knew I was in for a treat with this next book.
I genuinely think Clare has smashed it with this one! It was such a gorgeous and uplifting story about two troubled souls and how one chance meeting between them caused them to make certain decisions and follow new paths in their lives.
We begin the story with Ted, we find a deeply damaged young man who has experienced more devastation than he can cope with and believes the only way to get away from it is to end his own life. He thinks he has nothing to live for and I imagine his story is a very common scenario for a lot of people in the world. If only they could all meet someone like Marianne who could give them a lifeline and make them rethink their decision. Her intervention on the bridge causes him to make a split second decision that changes the course of his life and allows him to carry on.
Over the course of the book we watch them both navigate their lives, struggling to find their own path. Both still have demons and both still struggle to find happiness but that one chance meeting fuels their decisions and has such an impact on them. Throughout the tale there were so many missed opportunities to find each other again, I loved the tantalising nature of the 'almost meets' the times when I shouted aloud, "just look over there" or "just walk that way!!" but I think that was the reason this story was so fantastic. Although they both kept hope that they might find each other one day it didn't stop them from trying to live their life fully along the way. They both followed their own path and found themselves doing things they may not have done had they not met on the bridge.
This was a beautifully told tale, I loved all the characters in the story. Danny was such a rock for Ted. Marianne found a fantastic mentor in Lynne and her best friend Lance was a strong and feisty presence. They both had a great network of people to help them build their lives successfully and along with the memory of that night they were able to follow their path and create great lives. However the idea of each other was the propelling force.
I love the idea that one moment in your life can have such a monumental impact on everything you do from that point on. If they hadn't met at that time, would Ted have jumped? Would Marianne have found the career she was meant for? Would they have had families and love? It is a full sliding doors moment and I love that it spanned across 20 years and they never forgot that one moment.
I highly recommend this story, it is uplifting, heart warming, completely frustrating at times but so endearing. It made me think of all those 'what if' moments in my life and what might have happened had I done something differently, or had I not met people when I did.
I hope you grab yourself a copy, if it sounds like something you would enjoy you can use the link below to buy yourself a copy.
Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/3iMr1pm
𝒜𝒷𝑜𝓊𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒜𝓊𝓉𝒽𝑜𝓇
Clare Swatman is the author of three women’s fiction novels, published by Macmillan, which have been translated into over 20 languages. She has been a journalist for over twenty years, writing for Bella and Woman & Home amongst many other magazines. She lives in Hertfordshire. Before We Grow Old, was published in January 2022.
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