Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief. 

Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market. 

When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back. 

To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son.

Title:  Every Time You Go Away
Series:  —  —  —  —
Author:  Beth Harbison
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Published:  July 24, 2018
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
My Rating:  4 stars

We all deal with grief in our own unique way.  Willa was so devestated by her husband Ben’s death that she practically imploded, she shut down just about everything but her overwhelming grief.  Unfortunately, that reaction meant that her son Jamie didn’t have his mother to help him deal with his own grief over his father’s death.

By the time Willa’s grief has settled to a lesser pain the damage in her relationship with her son was already done.  Now estranged, each alone in their grief they need to find their way back.  Years pass, and it’s now time to face their past once again… and perhaps heal with the help of the one person they both love.

Every Time You Go Away is an emotional story with many layers of grief, acceptance and recovery.  It is, at times, not an easy story to read for the grief flows off of the page right into your heart.  Watching Willa and Jamie deal with the beach house, with the memories that it brings back is heartbreaking and yet healing.  Ben’s ghost adds such a poignant touch to this story.  Willa and Kristen, her best friend, relive memories this last summer at the beach house, while Jamie and Kelsey pick up their childhood friendship with ease.  I enjoyed my time in this world.  It is emotional, healing in many ways and realistic in how we all grieve and heal differently.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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