Cover Image: I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This

I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This

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In this deeply personal book the author shares her grief experience surrounding the death of her infant son and a few years later her father. Clare Mackintosh has given us a glimpse into her journey that is both heartbreaking and insightful. If you have ever experienced the death of a loved one you will recognize yourself in these pages and if you haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one this book will be a resource to the grief process for when you do. The author’s heartbreaking story may have you shedding a few tears, but her words of wisdom, encouragement and, at times, her wit, gives the reader a better understanding of grief which is both deeply personal yet universal. This is a book that I am sure that I will revisit numerous times when dealing with my own feelings of grief. Thank you for mastering the courage to write on this often taboo subject, it will surely help numerous people, myself included, as we navigate our own grief.

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This book was brutal but in a beautiful way. Hoping this books gets the PR it deserves because so many people could benefit from it.

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From an author well known and loved for her exiting thrillers, this is a very different offering.

Beautiful, sad, heartbreaking, hopeful. A memoir of a mother’s love, and her wish to help others if she can. I am in awe of her ability to write of her feelings and experiences in the hope that others may benefit. Ever thoughtful but never maudlin, the balance is just right.

There is always hope that the pain will ease.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks.

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Although Clare Mackintosh is best known for her thrillers, this heartbreaking but hopeful memoir/guide to grief is a very worthy addition to her work. Grief obviously isn't the same for everyone, but there are still some things in here that will comfort anyone who is grieving, whether the loss is new or old.

Content warning: infant loss

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC

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Each of us will experience grief, and none of us will know how it will affect us until we do,

Chances are good that if you are reading about this book from bestselling author Claire Mackintosh, you are struggling with loss. With a background in law enforcement, Ms Mackintosh is known for her bestselling thrillers like Hostage and I Let You Go. But she also has experienced terrible loss, and with this book she makes 18 promises to others who are themselves grieving, sharing the story of her unwanted journey through the process. She does not profess to be an expert on the subject, just someone from whom a loved one was taken and who has lived with the struggle to survive that loss.
I unexpectedly lost my mother just a few months ago, and was curious to see what lessons this book might hold for me. Having my father pass away almost four decades ago in a different but still unexpected way, I have been surprised at how different my grief feels this time around. Is it because I am older now than I was when my dad died? Is it the difference between losing a father vs a mother? Should I be crying more than I am? What Ms Mackintosh wants readers like me to know is simply this: there is no right or wrong way to handle your grief. There is no set timetable, no emotion that must be felt or that should be off the table. When my father died, the single most important thing that anyone said to me at the time was that it was OK to be angry at people, like those who said things that they thought were helpful or appropriate but instead I found hurtful or insensitive. (Because people did say and do things that made me angry, and being told by a friend who had herself lost a parent that anger was not inappropriate saved me from being angry and feeling guilty about it.) As I read the different chapters, each of which relates to one of the promises the author has made, some of what she has felt or done resonated with me and some did not…and that, she wants us to know, is normal. She received advice from people over the years that helped her, and other suggestions that did not (I for one will not find running to be a good way to work out anger, for example). In the end, this book is a very caring and honest discussion of a topic that each of us will experience, and it will hold some measure of guidance or reassurance to each reader when they are in need of that honesty and reassurance. Ms Mackintosh, I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story, your pain and your counsel. I did find comfort in your words, and hope that others will find it as well. Thanks as well to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for sharing with me an advanced copy of this lovely book.

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When Clare Mackintosh loses her five-week-old son, she discovered there is no clear path to dealing with grief. She wrote this book to help others deal d]with grief and loss. She was inspired to write this book based on a viral Twitter post on the anniversary of her son’s death.

I usually read a Clare Mackintosh novel for the twisty thrillers she weaves, but in this one she wrote a beautiful memoir and grief guide. The story behind this book is heartbreaking. The things she went through are horrifying and would make most tear up, it surely did me. You could just feel her emotions coming through the pages as you read them, her pain so raw and real. While I’ve never suffered loss to the caliber that she has, I have suffered many miscarriages and the loss of my mom. I found myself able to relate to guidance she provided.

This is one of those books that I am just in awe of the author for writing. It would have taken so much out of her to write this, and it would have been so hard. I do hope that by writing this book she finds some comfort in knowing that she is potentially helping others deal with grief.

If you are, or have suffered a loss, I encourage you to check this book out, it is worth the read.

Thank you so much to the author for writing this book and the publisher and netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I recently read and loved I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, so when I saw she’d written a nonfiction book, I was immediately interested.

What a gift that Mackintosh was willing to plumb the depths of her grief to share her hard-earned lessons of hope. Her stories in I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This are tragic, raw, wonderfully told and, ultimately, uplifting.

This is an important book to read not only if you have experienced grief, but also if you want to support someone who has. (Hint: Never, ever start a sentence with “At least.”)

The 18 assurances shared in this book aren’t necessarily new concepts, but Mackintosh’s brutal and beautiful stories are proof points underscoring that these messages aren’t just pretty words. There really is a way through.

Mackintosh’s personal grief stories involve the death of her five-week-old son (a twin) and her father, so if your own losses are similar, you may find this book particularly hard or particularly helpful—likely both.

I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This will be published by Source Books on March 1.


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"I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This" by Clare Mackintosh is a masterfully woven tapestry of emotions, a symphony that elegantly explores the realms of grief, resilience, and the transformative power of love. Mackintosh's prose is not just words on paper; it's a melodic dance of evocative and tender expressions, immersing readers in the intricate layers of loss and the triumphant journey towards discovering hope within the tapestry of pain. The characters breathe life, their rich development adding a touch of authenticity to their relatable emotional struggles. This novel gracefully navigates the delicate balance between heartbreak and redemption, leaving in its wake a profound resonance that speaks to the indomitable spirit's ability to endure and rebuild. Mackintosh's narrative finesse and empathetic touch elevate this work, making it an irresistible, compelling read for those in search of a deeply moving story of healing and the promise of second chances.

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Clare is known for her pacy thrillers which have you spinning from twists and reveals but this is something a little different. Part memoir/ part guide on grief, which I'll be the first to admit had me in tears on multiple occasions as I read her words. 18 years ago she lost her son and has wrote a book containing promises to help anyone dealing with grief. There are certain times when we just don't have the words and this book says it for us. In writing this book it took bravery, strength and hugeness of heart but which will undoubtedly bring comfort to many.
My first 5 star (if indeed you can ever really rate a book like this) read of the year.

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"Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve." - Earl Grollman

Clare Mackintosh is a gifted author who has brought much enjoyment to readers. I have enjoyed many of her books and found myself glued to the pages fully invested in the plots. I was also fully invested and fully engaged in I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This: 18 Assurances on Grief, her moving and heartfelt memoir about loss and hope.

“Grief has run through my life like thread through fabric; at times gossamer-thin and barely there, other times weaving thick, clumsy darns across the rips. In my grief I am a mother, a child, a sister, a wife, a woman, a friend. I am also a writer.” - Clare mackintosh

She shared with readers her own personal loss of her five-week-old son. She lays bare her loss and relives the pain while writing this memoir. A memoir which was inspired by a twitter thread she wrote on the anniversary of her son's death.

I admired her for sharing her own personal pain and grief. She makes several powerful promises in the beginning of the book which would benefit anyone who has suffered loss. She hopes that this memoir will help others and acknowledges that parts may not be for everyone as everyone grieves in their own way.

I applaud her for her honesty in sharing her experience. Grief is indeed a very lonely experience that we all will experience or have already experienced in our lives. I love how she encourages readers to grieve in whatever way is right for them. This would be a great book to have when anticipating the loss of a loved one or for one to read after suffering a loss.

I found this to be a powerful and moving book. As with her other books, this was well written. She poured her heart, soul, love, grief, and skill into this book. I can't even imagine how difficult this book must have been to write, how many tears she shed, or the number of memories re-lived.

Heartfelt, moving, and powerful.

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This book was absolutely beautifully written straight from the heart and I'm so grateful to Netgalley and to Source books for the opportunity of reading an advanced copy.
The book was about baby Alex, Clare's twin baby boy who sadly passed and she discussed grief through 18 chapters.
I too lost a twin, then my husband and my parents within 8 months of each other and my in laws within the same year. I didn't have time to grieve, I had work and 2 children under 2 to bring up. My children are now 30 and 29 and I grieve every now and again especially at Christmas.
This book has really helped me to grieve, to give me that space after all these years, to allow myself to take time out and be selfish.
I wish this book had been around 29 years ago.
Thank you Clare, this will help so many people, who are unable to see how or what next to say or feel.
We are human, we are all different, we all suffer loss at some point in our lives.
This book will be able to help people take small steps towards healing.

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This was not as sad as I expected! It was basically a memoir of her losing her son with some ways to extrapolate from her experience how deal with loss in your own life. I think if you thought it was going to be a real solid self help book you’d be disappointed but I like this method better. She’s good at sharing details without it being maudlin or self pitying.

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<i>'Sometimes it's too painful to be alive, isn't it?'</i>

'Not my cup of tea.' 'Not for me.' 'Not interested.' When you're vulnerable, reaching out to express your pain, your rage, your grief, is a risk. You risk people's pity, their misunderstanding, their dismissal or disbelief, their ire and their abandonment. I think many people fear being contaminated by grief, so they keep their distance or dampen their empathy. No one wants to welcome the ghost into their home. It's so much easier to look away, or pretend you don't notice, when you're not the one who needs help. Perhaps I'm not the target audience of this book, in that I'm still alive, but even so, I'm grieving for the small child I once was, years ago; the safety I never experienced; the trust of adults who hurt and exploited me when they should have been the ones to protect me; the decades I lost to abuse and addiction; the potential lives I could have brought into the world, if I had a choice, if my body hadn't been raped while it was still only beginning to grow.

Grief is an achingly lonely experience, and Clare Mackintosh captures that endless isolation perfectly in <i>I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This</i>. I particularly appreciated her emphasis on the state of permanently simmering anger that ends in eruptions of rage, only to build once more, never satisfied - and how the bitterness of grief can turn you against everyone and everything, including yourself, until you feel yourself rotting away from the inside out. I also related to her descriptions of feeling pressured to silence oneself or minimise your own experience in order to protect the sensibilities of others, or out of a sense of not wanting to hurt them or push them even further away, which is only a deeper betrayal of self. I liked that she took pains to point out that grief is inherently selfish, and must be allowed to be so, until one begins to surface and function as something close to human.

I'm sure this book 'won't be for everyone', and nor should it be. For those who will gain something, however, those gains may well be significant. (The front cover is beautiful, by the way - sea blue with yellow daffodils).

I am grateful to have received an ARC of this book from Sourcebooks via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC.

This book had me hooked from page one! It’s so heartbreaking yet so good. I loved it. Such a good story.

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Wow. What a heartbreaking and hopeful story. Clare is a wonderful storyteller and I've read her books before. This was a unique style of work. I appreciated the raw words and how authentic the book was. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Five stars.

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