Irreplaceable


I recently had the wonderful pleasure of reading and reviewing Stephen Lovely's novel, Irreplaceable.

This is a story about love, loss, grief and recovery told with such realism I had a difficult time putting the book down. Having three kids underfoot usually makes reading something I rarely ever take time for anymore, but this book and the characters grabbed me right from the start, and I was hooked.

Irreplaceable is the story of a vibrant woman named Isabelle, her archaeologist husband, Alex, and a woman neither knew but whom would have great impact on especially Alex's life, Janet Corcoran.

Isabelle is tragically killed in a car/bike accident. A very numb Alex agrees reluctantly to have her heart as well as other organs donated. Right away I found myself wondering what I would do in Alex's shoes, and how I would feel. I empathized, I reacted in my own head, and I cried. The thoughts and emotions expressed by Alex were all too realistic.

But that is simply the beginning. As a reader, almost like a voyeur, I was swept away in the journey Alex takes, along with his only true human connection he will reach out to, Isabelle's mother, as he bottles up his grief and anger and walks through his life as more a mechanical function than anything else.

Isabelle's mother, immersed in grief as well, is gripping as a character in her own way. As a mom, I was particularly drawn towards Bernice as I watched her deal with her need to connect to the of her daughter's heart.

Irreplaceable captured my heart as I read it. I felt so much of what the characters were feeling. Alex, so angry and still numb, wanting nothing to do with Janet. Though perhaps not logical, you can not help but understand how this man could feel bitter towards Janet. And Janet herself becomes a most amazing character with struggles that made me wonder if I would ever be as strong a woman as she is in the novel.

I absolutely loved this book. It delves into human nature in such an honest way. Believe me when I say that it is one of those books that you find very difficult to put down. You wil carry the characters with you in your thoughts throughout the day until you can pick it up again and continue reading. You will find yourself agreeing, questioning, and disagreeing with actions and thoughts of the characters.

I do not want to give too much away, but I can honestly tell you that I was not sure at all where the book would end things with Alex, Janet and Bernice. I was totally surprised by some twists and turns along the way. And I was completely captivated with the lives of the characters Stephen Lovely so perfectly intertwines.

So if you are putting together a summer reading list, I would absolutely recommend putting Irreplaceable on that list!

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