(The image has been taken from Alice Peterson’s Website)
DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT read “If You Were Here” in public. People will ask you why you’re crying and you won’t know what to say.
“If You Were Here” by Alice Peterson is an emotional story about Huntington’s Disease, a disease that affects your brain & movements and it gets worse as it progresses, without any cure for it yet.
Peggy has lost her husband to this disease, and now her daughter as well. But what she needs to do now is tell her granddaughter Flo that the disease is hereditary and she might be at risk.
Flo is about to get married and move to the US, but the news change everything. How do you even deal with such news, right? How do you process it? Through Flo’s character, you can clearly see her confusion and struggle to accept the fact – something that is so common for a human to do. Her fiance is not ready for the risk and will probably never will. The only support Flo has is her roommate James, his sister and her grandma Peggy. Flo needs to make the hardest decision of her life: does she take the test or not? Is she at risk of getting the disease too? What if she is tested negative? But, what if she is tested positive? Or would she just rather not know and live every day experiencing as much as she can? With her mother’s diaries helping her on this journey, she finds hope and strength she never knew she had before.
I loved Flo’s character. Despite the whole world turning upside down, she picked herself up and was always thinking on the positive side. Sure, there were ups and downs, but damn, that persistence was incredible.
”If You Were Here” is such a sad, but positive and powerful story about what we can do with our lives, and how we should live every day of our lives like it’s our last. Because – that is the truth: you don’t know whether you’ll wake up in the morning. You don’t know whether you’ll be going through troubles until it happens. You don’t have a map of your life, and that’s completely okay. Try to achieve as much as you can today, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.
Please pick this book up. It’s powerful, it’s incredible, it’s sad and it’s motivational. But above everything else, this book is bloody real!
Thank you to the teams at Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.
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