BOOK REVIEW: The Lives We Touch by Eva Woods

In our lives we'll meet something like eighty-thousand people. Most of them just in passing, sitting beside them on a bus, buying a latte from them, overtaking them too fast on the motorway. Others will become friends, lovers, family. Some will stay in our lives forever, and some will be swept away by the flow of life. But we touch all of these people in some way, tiny or huge, making more of a difference than any of us can imagine.
Rosie is in a coma, unable to reach out to the world or communicate. She only has one chance to make it back from consciousness- but she's slipping deeper and deeper into a maze of memories  and it's going to be hard to find her way out.
Daisy, Rosie's sister, is devastated by the accident. She's always been the good, dependable girl to Rosie's free spirit- but some of Rosie's attitude seems to be creeping into Daisy's dull experience. Can Daisy find the courage to be herself?
It only takes one tiny step to change a life forever...

Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 341

I was a big fan of Eva Woods' book How to be Happy which was published last year. The Lives We Touch is her latest book and I loved the opening paragraph:

Two hundred and fifty-three. That was how many people heard or saw Rosie Cooke step in front of the bus on a bright, cold morning in October, as it crossed a bridge spanning the grey, muddied waters of the Thames. 

Rosie is in a coma after being hit by a bus, what we don't know is whether it was an accident or if she purposefully stepped in front of it. Lying in a coma, Rosie can hear what is going on but she is unable to communicate. Her mum and sister Daisy are by her bed side. She knows that Daisy and her have had a falling out but she can't remember what it was about. She does know deep down that she loves her sister very much.
The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Daisy and Rosie. It becomes clear that Daisy is the more sensible sister but has she been hiding behind this persona and does Rosie's accident mean she should start living life the way she wants to?
Rosie has plenty to think about whilst in the coma, she is visited by dead friends and family who take her on journeys within her memory. I found this a little strange at first but then I thought it quite similar to Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and it's actually much more interesting than Rosie purely recalling her past. Instead, she is actual
ly there, re-living it.
Eva Woods is very good at exploring relationships. I think the relationship between sisters can often be a very complex one and Rosie and Daisy have had their fair share of issues. But underlying all of that is the link that they share; they may not like each other at times but they know each other better than anyone else.
The Lives We Touch also looks at the consequences of our actions and also fate. Our actions cause ripples among many people, something we don't always take into account. However, some things are completely out of our control, there is nothing we can do to change certain aspects of our lives.
I very much enjoyed Eva Wood's writing style again, it has a fresh and modern feel. I think this book will appeal to many readers, one to make you think and reassess.

Many thanks to Sphere for sending me a copy of this book to review. 


Carole said...

Thanks - now ordered from the library. Cheers

Dot said...

Hope you enjoy it Carole! Xx

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