Member Reviews

Clare Mackintosh is one of my favourite authors.
Everyone of her books I have loved.
To share her experiences with grief is an incredibly brave thing to do & she absolutely nails it here.

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I received a free copy of, I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This, by Clare Mackintosh, from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Almost everybody has had some significant loss in their life, whether it would be loss of parent, spouse, child, friend, etc. Loss effects everybody differently. In this book Clare describes her loss of her child, how it affected her, and what helped her get through it. This was a good read on a tough subject.

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One to read if you’re going through grief. Having lost a loved one last year it helped me to process a few emotions and feelings I had been dealing with. Obviously our situations are very different however it didn’t matter when reading the book.

Would recommend to anyone to read this book!

Thank you for letting me having an early copy.

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4.5/5 stars

I do not read a lot of non-fiction. But I do really enjoy this author. I decided to read this on the second anniversary of losing my mom. I hoped that reading this might help.

I am so impressed with the courage that it must have taken for Clare to write this book. After having read through the 18 assurances of grief I definitely feel like the daffodils are the perfect cover for this book.

This book did give me some comfort on a hard day. And it did help to read about this topic from an author who I've read before. And someone who I already knew had experienced tragedy. Although our losses could not be more different.

This book is such a raw honest account of how she's dealt with her infant son dying 18 years ago. Her pains is not the same as my pain. But reading her story does make me hopeful that time truly does help heal us.

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This is an honest, raw, emotional and personal account of Clare’s own grief journey after her son died at 5 weeks old.
Hoping to spread a little hope and positivity in the world of grief, Clare describes how her grief has changed over the years with 18 promises.
This is a must read for anyone that has grieved. However, I read this as a professional. I’m a palliative care nurse and to read accounts like this make me feel better equipped to understanding other people’s grief.
I’ve never experienced a loss like Clare has. It is unimaginable to me. Yet Clare has helped me understand and empathise with grieving people.
I’ve never highlighted a book so much. I want to buy a physical copy now so I can tab it and pass on at work.
An insightful, thought provoking read for bereaved people alike and healthcare professionals.
Thank you @claremackwrites for writing and sharing and @netgalley for my ARC. Published March 7th.

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This book is both a memoir and a guide to navigating and feeling hopeful through grieving. While it mostly pertains to the loss of the author’s infant son at 5 weeks old, there are sporadic mentions of her father whom she also lost.
As someone who has also lost a child, I definitely connected and related to much of what the author describes in her book, and I found a lot of comfort in knowing I was not alone in experiencing those similar feelings and situations. There’s helpful advice offered here, as well as a promise of hope to those grieving the loss of someone. Anyone experiencing grief will find this book helpful, but I would say that someone grieving the loss of a child will benefit the most from reading it.
*Thank you to @netgalley for the “Read Now” copy of this book. This book will be out on bookshelves 3/5/24.*

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Extremely tough read that I won't lie, was hard to get through. But it is beautiful and important, this book will help so many people. I love this authors mystery thrillers and am happy to report she is just as talented in this format.

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Wow! Another great read by Claire Mackintosh. This was an honest, open look into a personal journey with grief. So many relatable emotions! Well written, super tender and ultimately uplifting.
Beautiful read.
Thank you NetGalley and Claire Mackintosh for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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This book is powerfully beautiful and one that everyone who has ever experienced a loss should read. The author, Clare MacKintosh, shares her journey through grief after the loss of her son at 5-weeks old and a few years later, her father. I have experienced loss in my life and have a lot of anxiety around the thought of losing people close to me because of the work I have done professionally. As a mother myself, my worst nightmare became her reality, and her words are open and vulnerable in her writing to help others.

In my former professional life, I have worked in an area surrounded by death and grief. I worked with families on the worst days of their lives as a transplant coordinator. These were the worst times for some families as they were losing someone so important in their lives and the happiest days for others because the organ or tissue being donated is saving the life of someone important in their life. Her book put into words exactly what I would try to articulate when they asked me what I am supposed to do now and how I get through this. Not to mention my aversion to people judging others on the ways people grieve- grief is such a unique experience and one that is a journey that never ends and is specific to the person going through it. Clare’s words capture this struggle of trying to find footing on how to go on in the darkest times of your life. Her words are encouraging, and relatable, and so well-written. I appreciate her sharing this beautiful piece of art with the world. This book will continue to be a resource for me to offer people who might need a little light in their darkest times and for that, I am so grateful.
The grief of the people who love you is twofold. Their hearts break once at the death of a grandchild, a friend, a sibling; they break a second time when they see your pain.

Thank you Netgalley, Sourcebooks Books, and Clare MacKintosh Tintera for allowing me to have access to an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Cristina Arreola of Sourcebooks( Nonfiction) for access to this title. All opinions expressed are my own.

The author wrote that she cried as she wrote this book. Dear Readers, I cried the entire time that I read this book. It's not a book that is for everyone. But for someone who has experienced grief similar to what the author describes- I felt validation. That everything that I had felt- the sadness, the anger, the injustice etc didn't make me some abnormal human being. It just made me a person who has grieved. Who is still grieving.

Thank you, Clare Mackintosh for sharing your own story and for making this reader feel seen.

Expected publication 01/03/24
Goodreads Review published 22/02/24

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I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This is a book that I will read time and time again.

I too in 2019 lost my husband suddenly, in 2021 my 37 year old son to cancer ( cant forget my dog in 2020).

Clare Mackintosh lost her son at 5 weeks old and her personal experience and her outtake on grief (because you do feel alone) is thought provoking.

She does a remarkable job in this well written book that eases your soul and helps the pain .

Grief is everyone's personal journey and we all grieve differently but I truly believe that is a book that will be gifted , kept at your bedside and read time and time again,

I thank Clare Mackintosh for writting I Promise You It Won't Always Hurt Like This, it would have been so emotional.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks (non fiction) Sourcebooks for the privilege of reading and reviewing this wonderful book.

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First of all, I want to say I'm extremely grateful tobSourcebooks, NetGalley and, of course, Clare for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Secondly, I want to remind everyone that you should only read this if you can. If you think you're able to. If you're ready for it. After all, this is a tough book to read and you should put your own mental health first.

Thirdly, and lastly, let's go to what you're really here for: the review.

In this book Clare walks us through her own grief, giving us details of her own personal life and most intimate thoughts so she can shows us we're not alone and also use those as examples as to how it gets better. With time. And it truly does.

When I saw this book on netgalley I knew I wanted/needed to read it. I lost people I loved before. I grieved. I'm still grieving. I'll always be. I'm better now, but like Clare also said, I have some days where I take a step backwards. Where I fall apart a little bit. Where it gets too much. And that's ok!

Every promise Clare made resonated with me. And a lot of her stories did as well. So this book hit close to home. It was heart wrenching at time. I sobbed as well. But it was liberating in a way I can't explain. It's always good to know you're not alone. You're not the only one feeling that way. It's always good to know someone understands you. Losing someone you love so deeply it breaks to lose them isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy. However it's good to know someone understands it too. Does that thought make me a bad person? I don't think it does but I'm sorry if I'm wrong about it.

All these 18 promises are completely right, you know? If you're going through your own journey and if you're reading this review I hope you fix this one part specifically. Clare is right. It does get better with time. The pain will subside a little bit. It won't hurt that much. You'll breathe more easily. Regular tasks won't take all your energy away. And you'll be able to talk about them without it shattering you. If you're like me, it will actually get to that time where you love to talk about the ones you lost. To tell funny stories you randomly remember about them. You'll see something that reminds you of them and say out loud "oh my god, x would've loved this flower, they were passionate about flowers.". Anything really.

I believe I got sidetracked with this review but that's what a good book that resonates with you and makes you feel seen will do to you.

If you're in your own journey, read this book and get some hope in knowing it gets better. If you know someone grieving but don't know how to help them, then please give them this book.

PS - Thank you so much for opening up about this, Clare.

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spot on. Mackintosh writes about grief with honesty, tenderness, and care from afar and it’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I want to buy a bunch of copies and hand them out to so many people who are grieving.

The book is divided into 18 chapters- each one a promise relating to grief and grieving. The chapters are full of personal stories and experiences, with some hopeful advice as well.

I loved this!!

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I have always been a huge fan of Clare - since first reading ‘I let you go’ with my book club and Clare generously offering to do a virtual Q&A with us I remember lending that book to so many people and even buying it to send to my team in Prague to read. I remember back then learning that she had lost a very young child and back then could not have imagined how that would feel but now many years later with two small people of my own, the grief is not something I would even want to try and fathom. I decided to read this book as a fan of Clare but also as a training psychotherapist. I’m currently working with a group with secondary breast cancer so grief/loss are something I will encounter with greater frequency than the average Joe along the way, so I was hoping this book would help me personally but also to understand and empathise with others.

This book is so beautiful I would recommend it to anyone, grieving or otherwise to have in your armoury. It will make you smile, it will make you hug your children a bit harder, it will make you cry and cry and cry. The part that triggered me was totally unexpected - I burst into fits of sobs that were not quite sadness tears but not quite happy ones either, something in between like grateful tears if they’re even a thing!

A wonderful, wonderful read.

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Clare Mackintosh's moving meditation on grief following the death of her son Alex at five weeks old (Alex would be 18 today). Her writing is so wrenching and intimate at times that I had to put the book down and come back to it later. One such moment: when she talks about her son's funeral, and how his coffin was so tiny that her husband carried it in his arms. While this is a book for those dealing with grief (and who isn't), it is also for anyone wanting to help/be there for those suffering through loss.

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Heartfelt reflections on the long process of grieving a loss. The "promises" made are helpful to orient someone forward through a time of mourning. Even just looking at the chapter titles can be helpful reminders.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a preview copy of I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This.

I thank Claire for sharing her son Alex with us, and her grief journey. I am 4.5 years into my grief journey, and I was unsure about reading this book. Would it cause me to wallow? Would it open up wounds when I was feeling like I was doing pretty well with right now? I decided I would take it easy, read it a few pages at a time, and if it got to be too much, I'd take a break. Claire even says at the beginning- read this how you need it. Maybe a little at a time, maybe a chapter here and there, out of order, however it would suit you. But WOW. I wound up devouring this book in just a couple of days (there were times I walked away, but did not wait long to pick it up again). This book is honest, raw, true, and healing. Claire takes us on a journey to show us that we are not alone, but never lectures. When you deal with grief, you learn quickly that each grief journey is unique, and Claire continues to assure us that that is true, there is no one size fits all solution to the overwhelming array of emotions. She tells us how it was for HER- it may or may not be like that for us. But more often that not, it affirmed what I had, and still was experiencing. Practical approaches, but never judgements or solutions. I highlighted many passages in this book. Both because some resonated with me so strongly, some because it was good advice.

I think this book is probably best read a few months after a loss. If read right out of the gate, you'd read it with a perspective of "not me, she doesn't understand". But months, and years after, I find this book extremely reassuring and understanding. It's a comfort. The pain is raw, and you don't "get over it", but one does learn to live with it. Lean on those who have been there before, and Claire assures us there are people out there who do get it- and clearly. I am sorry for her loss. I appreciate her sharing it with us. I read numerous grief books in the year after my loss, and this one will be one of my go-to books to recommend and purchase for others.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book!

I find it weird to say I enjoyed this book but I did find it comforting. As someone who has yet to deal with as big a direct loss as the author, I picked this book to see if it could give me some guidance on how to cope with future losses I might face. There are also some unexpected deaths in my periphery that I’ve been trying not to analyze too much so I was hopeful it might also help with those.

The authors vulnerability and the fact the book steers clear of direct advice and self help definitely makes it one of the more palatable books on grief that I’ve seen. It’s very easy to write a prescriptive book, but much harder to write something meaningful that is raw and messy without just becoming chaos. She does a great job of this.

My only complaint is that occasionally it does feel a bit repetitive but I think that mirrors the cycle of grief (a bit of rumination) so it still didn’t bother me that much.

4.5/5 rounding up on the accordance of thinking this could help people (I think it will help me in the future).

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This book felt like a hug from a stranger I didn’t know I needed. I haven’t read Claire’s other books but was immediately interested in this one from the title and cover alone. I knew it would be a gem and wasn’t disappointed. I felt like Clare was describing so much of my own experience — things I thought or felt which I thought were strange but she shared in her own story. We didn’t suffer the same kind of loss but so much rang true. I have a many underlined passages I will keep with me as they so beautifully summarized the sentiment.

This was such a great read for anyone who has experienced loss — whatever the stage. One I will be recommending to others looking for comfort.

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I knew going into this that I was going to get emotional, what I didn’t fully expect was to be affected in the way that I was.

I am no stranger to grief.

I have gone through the motions every single time, trying and hoping that the pain will eventually lessen so I can finally feel like I can breathe again. I am no stranger to that pain.

I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This gave me the ability to finally put that pain into words. It helped me understand that I'm not alone in this feeling. I truly found this so healing in so many ways.

It’s not often that I immediately run to preorder books but the minute I read the first chapter of this book, I preordered it. I knew from then that this was going to be a book that I would need.

This helped me understand and rationalise a lot of the feelings that I have been experiencing for years. It allowed me to have the space to sit back and think about all the parts of my grief that I have held for years, the good, the bad and the ugly. This made me feel so seen.

For many years I blamed myself for the loss of my child. The child that I never got to see grow up or see take their first steps or say their first words. I was not in a good place for many years when it came to coming to terms with my loss. This book allowed me to understand that feeling that way is natural. It’s a part of it and I’m not alone in that feeling.

It’s officially been a year since I lost my Nanny and reading this with the pain of losing her still being so raw was overwhelming but the way this was written made me feel like I was processing it with a friend.

I truly appreciate the fact that a list of books that surround grief is included at the end too.

I can’t express how thankful I am for this book and how this is one that I will be carrying with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing me with this ARC. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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