Signs of life by Natalie Taylor
is, first and foremost, a fabulous book. It’s not fictional, instead being a journal style account of just over a life in the year of a young woman, widowed unexpectedly while pregnant with her first child. You’d be right to expect this will be a book full of emotion – there’s plenty of that to go around, but there are also insights into life with and without a loved one, as well as the adjustment to single parent hood that was so terribly unexpected.
Natalie is also a teacher, of English literature. Some of the books she teaches take on a new dimension as she comes to them after her husband’s death, and she is eloquent in discussing this. I was surprised to be touched and also educated as I read, and although I was determined not to get caught up in the tears, she got me at the end. If you make it to the end of this without needing a tissue, you’re a stronger person than me, but at least it was the happy bit that caught me out.
Because there is happiness. There is triumph over the adversity of the abnormal situation – that must, not so very long ago, have actually been disturbingly normal if you think of the experience of women at war. Thankfully now this kind of early loss is few and far between, but Natalie faces up to her situation with a wry humour that shines through even her lowest times.
If you are getting the impression I really enjoyed this, you’d be right. It’s fabulous, and I highly recommend it. Out in July, and available for pre-order now.
Disclosure. I was sent this free for the purpose of review. If I could remember where I’m up to on 100 books, I’d add it.
Went back and looked it up. This is book 79.