ARC Review: Grace after Henry by Eithne Shortall

Author: Eithne Shortall
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
Pages: 432
Release Date: 3rd May 2018
View on Goodreads | Buy from Bookwitty

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Blurb

Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard.

Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace’s heart grows ever larger.

Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy – to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?


I really enjoyed this book, far more than I even expected to. I would compare this book to Me After You (the title even follows the same principle) and P.S. I Love You and is on par with, if not better than those (definitely the former).

I got into the story straight away because the fatal incident is the opening. I was immediately captivated by the story and could already feel the depth of their relationship. Henry dies after an accident on his bike – this played on my emotions even more so because my husband cycles for work… so this really made it real for me.

Grace was a very relatable and likeable character and although she did irritate me sometimes, I still understood and empathised with her. The more the book went on, the more attached I felt to Grace. There were several other characters who also had a big impact on the story and who felt so genuine and were well developed in their own right – particularly Andy.

When Grace first meets Andy, it was a shock for her (and for me as a reader) and from there I did not expect the story to go where it went. This kept it really interesting for me and after that, I did not want to put the book down until I finished it. As the story developed further, it started going in a certain direction… and I was like no, this is not a good idea, this feels wrong. The more it continued, the more I had this internal dialogue with myself. However, when the outcome of this aspect of the storyline meets its moment of truth, I was so saddened by it.

I thought this book was very well written and the way the author interwove Grace’s memories of Henry at crucial moments really made it that much more heartbreaking. I will be honest and say that this book made me cry several times and it was a very bittersweet and heartfelt story. I would definitely recommend this book for a light yet emotional read.

Rating: 8/10

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5 comments

    • Aww thank you that’s really nice to know ☺️
      Hmm I guess the message was that you should only rely on yourself… in the sense that when Grace was in her first stages of grief she began to rely on someone else to the point that she was wholly dependent on him and she had to learn that it wasn’t the way to get through her grief.. if that makes sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely review! I have just finished reading this myself and completely agree with you in that this book came as a real surprise to me, too. I also think that it makes sense that we were initially pulled in due to Henry’s accident being at the beginning of the book. Thanks for the thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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