I have started this novel a couple of times before, but it never really got me going until I started it about two days ago. It just hit me, and I think maybe it happened because I needed to read this book right now. Rachel Higginson’s “The Five Stages Of Falling In Love” is about a woman who finds herself falling in love not too long after her husband’s death. But for me, it is more about grief, and how grieving affects you and the way you make decisions in life.
When is the proper time to start falling in love again after someone you love dies? I don’t think there’s a set answer to that – we all deal with grief and acceptance differently. But Higginson handles the matter delicately. Liz has become attracted to her next door neighbor Ben, and who wouldn’t, since Ben is a godsend. But for most of the book, she has to navigate her feelings of guilt for loving someone else besides her husband. As much as we try to root for them to get together, we get to understand why Liz is hesitant. At times, though, you kind of want to smack her in the head and tell her, ‘get over it!’ But we all know it isn’t as easy as that. I found myself literally crying when Liz was going through a lot of hardships – I have gone through a lto of similar experiences lately, as death has touched my family recently as well. So I found myself empathizing, sympathizing with Liz. But at times, the book felt overly long – it had at least three endings. Still, this is a book that will touch you, especially if you can relate to what she is going through.