The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

the dead wifes handbook
Published by Penguin in February 2014.

“‘Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.’ 

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.”


Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and give an honest review. I had heard many intriguing things about it so I was looking forward to getting stuck in.

With straight talking right from the start I was hooked pretty quickly, there was certainly no beating around the bush with this book!  The subject was a sensitive one and, for me, very uncomfortable to think about yet it still managed to captivate me with its fascinating take on grief and the afterlife.  As a wife and mother I found that putting myself in Rachel’s shoes tapped into my emotions on quite a deep level. The author’s heartfelt writing made me feel the characters emotions too, it was like I living each moment alongside them. This inevitably led to tears, particularly as I read the last sentence.

This book took me on a journey and most definitely caused me to stop and think about my own mortality, it raised questions in my mind that I would probably not have even considered before – what an achievement for a debut novel to be so thought-provoking!

This was a deeply emotional read that was original and beautifully written, I look forward to more from this author.


Hannah Beckerman is a TV and film producer living in London. The Dead Wife’s Handbook is her first novel.

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