Friday, September 16, 2022

Book Review: This is Us


By Sara Steven

Stella fell in love with Simon hard and fast. He was everything she wanted in a husband, and he seemed to feel the same way about her. More than a decade of marriage later, life is sweet. They have three much-wanted children, a successful business, and a comfortable London home. What more could Stella possibly want?

But then, out of the blue, Simon is gone. Vanished. No one knows where he’s gone or why.

Now Stella, with the help of her friends and family, has to pick up the pieces of her and her children’s life, all the while wondering what she missed. Was her husband who he said he was, and can she trust her own memories of their life together? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

What do you do when someone you love walks away and never returns? I couldn’t even fathom that scenario. The heart wrenching emotion and deep struggle while Stella tries to put the pieces together not only for herself but for her children, too, had been perfectly portrayed. And the even bigger question– Why– loomed over my head just as much as it hung over Stella’s. There are so many unanswered questions, and the only person who has the answers is Simon.

The string unravels bit by bit. Abandoning your family can be an unforgivable thing, but the author raises the stakes a little at a time, adding even more layers to Simon’s indiscretions. It allowed for Stella’s optimism to shine through, ever sure that holding onto hope would mean something. I think what I loved the most about Stella’s character and This Is Us in general was the fact that yes, hope is an amazing thing. But it can also be a fluid thing. Where hope comes from and the capacity in which it’s used can change depending on how it’s needed, and Stella opens her eyes to that. For her, hope is found within survival and resilience. 

There is a major scene towards the end of the book that felt like Stella’s last stand. I loved it! It was a moment I had been yearning for, and it did not disappoint. The moments leading up to that and the arsenal Stella ends up with could only be described as genius. As much as Simon tried not to leave any sort of footprint in his own life, it was inevitable and it was a scenario that paid off for both Stella and those involved. Central to everything had been the incredible friendships Stella had forged over the years, relationships that end up becoming serious lifelines for her during the most chaotic time in her life. It was its own special foundation.

This Is Us highlighted one woman’s journey into finding a way towards familial peace, in whatever capacity that might be– a worthy five-star experience for me. 

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links: 
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Helen McGinn is a much-loved wine expert on TV and in print and an international wine judge. She spent ten years as a supermarket buyer sourcing wines around the world before setting up her award-winning blog (and now best-selling wine book) The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. She is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail and regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen and This Morning. Helen lives in the New Forest.

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