What they say:
‘The life you lived. The life you loved. The life you left…
It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the pack lunches and juggling baby Ella’s feeds.
There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.
Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her children’s questions about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate.
But it turns out she isn’t quite as alone as she thought she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks she’s finally been thrown a life line.
There’s just one problem with Edward: Sarah is the only person who can see him.’
What we say – review by Charlotte Foreman:
I take my hat of to Carmel Harrington for the genius first page in the book. I cannot imagine a single person being able to put this down after being hit with that bombshell, and it very cleverly creates a drive to read on and on.
Sarah’s situation is tough to read, and no doubt very real for some people, and it gets you straight in the heart. Having never been moved to thoughts of violence by a book before, I was shocked that Paul, Sarah’s husband, evoked those kinds of feelings in me and I honestly wanted to punch him – I’m pretty sure this might have been the author’s intention though. In stark contrast is James, Sarah’s twin brother, who is a rock and comic relief all rolled into one, and I’m sure he’ll be a hit with most readers.
The whole story had a Cecelia Ahearn feel about it that I loved. Carmel weaves some magic with her writing that is both unbelievable yet believable at the same time, creating an air of pure goodness and innocence around Sarah’s gift. Stories and characters interweave and give you an unstoppable tale of lost love, family and acceptance.
There are many mysteries to solve throughout and you’ll eagerly read on in an attempt to quench your thirst for the answers only Carmel can give you and, I promise, this book will knock you for six.
Interview with Author Carmel Harrington
Hi Carmel! For those who haven’t yet read The Life You Left, can you tell readers a little bit about the book
Hi Charlotte, it’s set in Ireland, in a small coastal village in Wexford, called Ballyaislinn. The story centres around Sarah Lawler, a wife and mother, who is having a pretty rough time! Two events happen that change her life forevermore. Her husband Paul disappears and an old childhood friend, Edward reappears, with a message for her that rocks her world.
It’s contemporary fiction, with a strong lean to mystery and suspense with a little paranormal thrown in too!
Your debut novel, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, has been a smash-hit. Have you felt much pressure to live up to its success?
I really have Charlotte! I am always humbled by how much people loved Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and was so scared, that lovely readers who loved that, might be disappointed. I am so relieved to see that – so far – they love The Life You Left too. I cannot express how happy and relieved I am!
The story has a strong feel of Celelia Ahearn about it and contains paranormal elements. Is this something you set out to write or did the story develop this way as you wrote.
I am flattered to be compared to Cecelia Ahern Charlotte, thank you! The paranormal aspect was central to the story when I dreamt it up, so was very much part of my original plan, but it did kind of grown organically as I wrote it. I loved the idea of someone finding out they ‘gifted’ later in life and wondering what on earth to do about it! It was fun writing some of the scenarios around this – in particular with her postman Joey!
James seems to be creating a stir among readers! How do you see him in your head?
He’s talk, dark and gorgeous! But a realistic gorgeous, not all six packs and muscles, more like a Gerard Butler kind of thing.
Do you have a writing routine?
I write every morning while the children are in play school, then again every evening when they go to bed. Weekends, I try to make about family only!
Where do you write?
Oh good question! Mostly in our living room or dining room, but in the winter if its really cold, I’ve been known to write in bed, under the duvets!
Tell us a secret
Fun question! Right, lets see. I want to make it juicy!! I have partied with U2 back in the day! On their private jet no less.
What’s next for Carmel Harrington?
I need to get writing book 3 Charlotte, but that is proving to be difficult in between the promo for The Life You Left! But life is great, I love what I do, I have an amazing family that I just love so much it’s ridiculous, so whatever happens next, I’ll be smiling.