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If You Were Here by Alice Peterson

Genre: Fiction
Source: Simon & Schuster

About The Book

When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’s things reveals a secret never told: Beth was sick, with the same genetic condition that claimed her father’s life, and now Peggy must decide whether to keep the secret or risk destroying her granddaughter’s world.
Five years later, Flo is engaged and moving to New York with her fiancé. Peggy never told her what she discovered, but with Flo looking towards her future, Peggy realises it’s time to come clean and reveal that her granddaughter’s life might also be at risk.
As Flo struggles to decide her own path, she is faced with the same life-altering questions her mother asked herself years before: if a test could decide your future, would you take it?

My Thoughts

This is a bittersweet story, not easy to read but beautiful and so special that I am sure you’ll remember it for a long time.
I don’t know if you know about the Huntington disease, but is a degenerative genetic illness that doesn’t have cure. This is the illness that Peggy Andrews’s daughter had and caused her death, now she has to decide if she tells her granddaughter, Flo, that she can have the illness too and the consequences of it. So, Flo will have to decide if she wants to know if she carries the illness or not; continue living like nothing happens or take the difficult decision to take the test and know the answer. This is not an easy situation, Flo will have to face the most difficult decision in her life; but she will have the diaries from her mother and friends that will help her in this difficult voyage. Be ready to drop some tears…
This is a story told between three voices, the grandmother, the mother and the daughter; their own perspectives and their own way to face this difficult situation. The story felt so real that you have the impression that you are too part of the family, not a simple spectator of the story.
I will not say that this is an easy read, but it had been a really beautiful one; human and moving that I am sure you’ll love.
Ready for “If You Were Here”?

About The Author

Alice Peterson writes contemporary fiction with humour and compassion. Her novels always have the feel good factor, but she also aims to take the reader to a darker place where characters have to overcome adversity. This is partly due to Alice’s own life experience of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which she wrote about in her memoir Another Alice. She has written four novels: Monday to Friday Man, which has sold over 500,000 copies across all editions, Ten Years On, By My Side and One Step Closer to You, which won the Festival of Romance’s Best Romantic Read 2014.