Member Reviews

This is the guiding light I wish I’d had when my dad died. I appreciate that you don’t need to read it in order, and I can flip through it whenever I feel alone.

It’s the perfect gift to share with people who are grieving — it’s full of real advice and comforting words from someone who’s been there.

It’s also a good book for people who never know what to say. Read this to empathize and understand.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for this ARC of ‘I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This’ by Clare Mackintosh.

This was heartbreaking and enlightening all at the same time. It took me a while to get through as I wanted to reflect properly after each of the assurances. As someone who was experienced child loss and grief it really spoke to me. Such a good job with this one!

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I really enjoyed this non-fiction book by Clare Mackintosh. I recently lost a loved one and it was good to have this book to read about grief. It was good to hear how she moved and continues to move through her grief. I am grateful for the tips on living through grief. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.

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Written because of the death of her five-week-old son, author Clare Mackintosh's memoir is poignant, personal and helpful to others who grieve. Mackintosh knows that people grieve differently, yet the pain is universal. She is gentle with her writing, yet realistic about the hurt.

I haven't read Mackintosh's mystery books yet, but I am so glad that I read her first nonfiction book. I would recommend this book to anyone in any period of mourning and grief, and I needed it myself.

Thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for an advance reader's copy. My review is my own.

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This was a beautiful book... I am 3 years out from when my dad passed and I think this book is more for someone who recently lost a loved one. It was great and she is spot on, but it would have been better for me to read a few years back.

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Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

18 assurances on grief is what Mackintosh offers the reader in this new release. She lays out each chapter with a promise, to give the reader a sense of hope in dark times. To provide a source of comfort and a place to cry. These are all things she went through herself with the loss of her son and father.

I found this book beautiful! I cried and felt so seen thru these pages. Mackintosh has a way with words and I can’t wait to read more from her. Her journey felt so relatable while also being unique.

I think if you’ve lost someone this is a great book to pick up because it offers insight into a long term grief journey. She gives you solace and hope for a brighter future. It’s not all commiserating and reflection on the difficult days. But about the light in between the clouds, what helped and what didn’t. It certainly will not be an easy read but it will be worth the tears.

“It will get easier, the woman said. Not better, but easier. And it has.”

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Loved this book on grief - although born through an unthinkable heartbreak, it is sprinkled with hope. No matter what has caused your grief, I think all will relate to this book. Highly recommend.

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Wow! Clare Mackintosh's non-fiction debut combines heartache with hope while sharing her personal and unthinkable tragedy. Everyone, no matter what loss they might have suffered, will glean comfort from this book. Highly recommend!

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“There is no right way to grief”.

This is probably the hardest book review I’ve ever done. I had the opportunity to read an ARC and, since I’m going through grief right now, I thought it’d be a perfect piece to read. I was right, although that doesn’t mean everyone is ready to read it as early as I was. That’s something I’ve learnt with Mackintosh’s book: we have our own times on grief and that’s okay.

It’s been almost two months since I lost a loved one. It hasn’t been easy for me to read about death, but something about the author’s way of sharing her experience made me feel lighter, made me understand I’m not alone on this. During this journey, I’ve felt things I was ashamed of feeling, thinking I was being selfish or heartless. Thanks to Mackintosh’s book I know now it’s normal to go through all these mixed feelings, because grief takes the best of us and turn us into a version of ourselves we don’t recognise. It’s okay, it will pass.

This book helped me being less harsh on myself. I’ve learnt to give myself the space I need to miss him, to grief him, to cry all I need to cry. I’ve learnt it’s okay if one day I don’t have the strength to put on a smile and, when the time comes, it will be okay to feel happiness. It’s a long journey and I’ve just started it. I will be okay, someday.

This is a book I’m gonna recommend to anyone who’s lost somebody and needs a helping hand. It’s been really helpful for me because the author talks to you with respect, love and understanding. She says the right words, but she doesn’t pretend she has the ultimate truth about anything. She tells you her story and hopes her experience helps you with your own. It helped me, a lot.

Thanks, Claire, for writing this book and sharing it with us. I will never forget it, I will keep its words close to my heart forever.

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I read "I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This" in one sitting. As I'm sure the author has been with other books, I was skeptical this one would offer platitudes or positive thinking or in some other way not reflect just how much grief can hurt. Instead, Clare Mackintosh writes an incredibly accessible and honest book I would recommend to anyone. For someone with fresh grief, this can truly be a book of promises to cling to when it feels like it will always hurt like this. For people further along the journey with grief, this book can offer reassurance that whatever they went through was normal, and that the ongoing ups and downs and new experiences of grief are also very normal. Although I am a person of faith, I also really appreciated that Mackintosh does not assume any specific belief system of her readers. Spirituality is often an area of crisis in the midst of grief, and too many books (and even more people) make that worse. I was also very impressed by how effectively Mackintosh made her grief relatable to those grieving very different losses.

Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the privilege of reading a DRC of this book. All opinions are my own. I plan to buy a hard copy, recommend it to friends, and also check out Mackintosh's fiction writing!

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This book is focused on the author's loss of a child and how she dealt with grief. It is moving and offers helpful observations. It's well written and honest. This book will be useful for many readers.

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I’m certain I was not the intended audience for this title, at least not presently. While I am grateful to not be in need of this book at the moment, I found that it taught me to be more compassionate, patient and understanding - and therefore was absolutely worth reading. Thank you to the author Clare Mackintosh for your honesty, but also the protection of your family by sharing your story, not theirs. And thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for the advanced copy.

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When a great book, I could really relate to this book.Because i've lost people in the past. The hardest one was my cousin Carrie. She died in cancer at 27. And I can understand how you felt about your son, Alex . They deal with the grief Mary differently than I would have, but they seemed everybody seemed to move on.. People don't like to talk about death and dying.I love it puts interspective.How you want to die and what you want to do. You are afraid to show their motions around death. And this is why I liked your book. Because you talked about it in different stages.. It's hard when you lose somebody.I lost my brother in october but I was glad he died because he was suffering at the end. Some people don't understand why I couldn't cry anymore. Our family takes death in A whole different level. We do not mourn the death in my family but my cousins do. When my father died we just had a cream in it and that's up. I know people think this is a harsh way of looking at things but this is how we deal with grief. Like you said in the book, we have different levels of grief and how we remember them.. Especially like the time of the Christmas December 10th.Though that's a really nice tradition to celebrate your sons alex death. It's comforting for you and the children seem to accept it. This is what healthy families do they discuss things and to remember that person buy. I think when you're Very these emotions through death does not help anything. Unlike how your friend came over to help you. Just to talk about ordinary things. She knew you were upset. But that made you feel comfortable. Everybody has a way of dealing with grief. And I think by writing this book. You show how people it's a very healthy thing to get over people Who have died. I like how you pay tribute to alex and how certain parts of this book you could relate to things. You could imagine when he was 18.Driving a car going to college. I think this book would really help people who are struggling with the death somebody in the family. Life goes on, but you can always remember.Them so they're a song or going to the graveyard.

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**Many thanks to NetGalley, SOURCEBOOKS, and Clare Mackintosh for an ARC of this book!**

Once in a while, a book comes along that catches you SO off guard with its honesty, its vulnerability, and its unabashed frank observations, that you can't help but fall in love with it on that basis alone...even if its content completely breaks your heart.

And this is precisely that sort of book.

Clare Mackintosh always approaches her writing with authenticity and openness, bringing a grounding sense of realism to all of her works of fiction. But in this book, self-help and self-reflection merge seamlessly, as Clare offers the reader 18 Assurances on Grief. As a mother who suffered the loss of a child (a child who passed at 5 weeks old, no less) Clare has not only experience as her teacher, but her own heart, soul, and perspective to share with the reader...and no matter how painful, how 'unflattering' she may find herself recounting some of the most difficult moments of her life...she never shies away from a single truth.

What started as a Twitter thread (with THOUSANDS of replies from people all over the world) blossomed into an emotionally heavy but powerfully hopeful read. The strength it took for Mackintosh to engage in such deep self reflection, to share such personal stories and achingly painful memories, but to also provide the AUTHENTIC acknowledgement about all aspects of grief, from its lowest, ugliest points to the promise that these moments WILL come, but will also morph and change is immeasurable. Although I have not experienced grief at the level she has (and I know this will only be a matter of time, because with age comes loss of those we love), I feel absolutely certain I will turn back to these pages for the solace, the camaraderie, and consolation Mackintosh so willingly offers to her readers

I cannot imagine how hard it was for Mackintosh to write this book, but we are ALL better off for it. I feel as though I know her on an entirely different level now, both as a mother AND a person, and I believe this John Green quote sums up precisely why: "Grief does not change reveals you."

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5

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This book was so well written and thoughtful. The author had experienced the situation of losing a child. This book will help you know that sometimes no words are needed just a hug. I definitely recommend this book for anyone.

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This author’s name sounded so familiar when I downloaded the galley. As I started the first pages, I realized she is the author of several popular mystery/suspense books.

With her nonfiction debut, she goes deep into the nuances of grief. The subtitle of the book is 18 Assurances on Grief, and each chapter explores different promises about how essentially grief will not and cannot be your whole story but will always be part of it.

However, it’s not a personal development book; it’s a memoir, so she is speaking to specific feelings and coping mechanisms she is familiar with regarding grief after the loss of her five-week-old son.

It was a smart way to tell her story, as I was navigating alongside her with each changing emotion. And, several times during the story my heart sank for her, and sank for myself, as I applied it to my own grief experiences.

Mackintosh wrote on a truly difficult subject in a beautiful, tender way, and I’m glad she could explore her grief further during the writing process for this book.

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Oh my word, this novel spoke to me. To avoid spoilers, chapter 7 and 12 resonated with me.

I was always a follower of Clare MacIntosh’s novels, and she’s displayed she can also write part memoir/part self help.

She wrote this novel with such vulnerability and honesty. You literally felt you were alongside with her while reading.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this novel would work for me. I typically only read grief novels by Alan D. wolfelt and David Kessler and Elisabeth Kubbler Ross; however, I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This is up there with those grief experts novels.

I was struggling to read my regular historical fiction novels , but this novel came at the perfect time, as I was able to immerse myself in Clare’s story and promises. Talk about reading serendipity!

Highly recommend for anyone going through grief and loss.

Thank you to Cindy Burnett with the Thoughts From a Page podcast / Page Turners Patreon group for arranging ARC copies. Thank you to the publisher Sourcebooks ; the author; and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a review.

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Beautifully written. This is part memoir about a woman dealing with the loss of her young son, but this is also a lesson in learning to understand grief in your life. At times raw and so very sad and at other times hopeful, this book had so many instances where a sentence would just leap out at me and I would have to put the book down to think about what I had just read. I know that this book will stick with me.

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"This book is structured around a series of promises: my commitment to you is that the sun will rise again. It is a conversation, not a lecture; a story of hope, not of loss."

Wow. This book was so impactful. Whether you are struggling with grief or supporting someone in a state of grief, this is such an important read. So often, you hear platitudes of how it will get better in time, but this book shows how it does. I loved the personal stories Clare Mackintosh shared and how she dealt with the loss of her son. I read this book in small chunks because the subject matter was very serious, but I highlighted so many passages and am glad I read it.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the digital ARC of this book.

I have had so much loss the last few years that I pretty much feel numb, but the simplest things will send me into a crying fit. I lost my dad 12 years ago, my youngest brother and mother late 2020, my sister in 2023, and my husband Nov. of 2023. Along with family losses there have been six close friends who have also passed in the last 3 years.

I feel like I will grieve for the rest of my life and in some ways, I believe we all do.

This book is such a warm, heartfelt read. It comes from the heart of one of my favorite thriller writers, and makes me understand how she is able to express so much emotion in her fiction stories. This is a book that I will reread many times. Infact, I plan to get the audio version because I love to have others read to me. This book really spoke to me and gives me hope that life with grief is possible.

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