Member Reviews

Loved this one so much! Thank you NetGalley for this ARC. I loved the 18 promises and how the author named each chapter a different promise!

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I received an e-arc of this book through Netgalley.
I am drawn towards books on grief since my sister passed away in 2020. This book is definitely for people who have experienced grief otherwise I don't think it will be as heartfelt or distinctive. It's true that we want to hear that we are not alone in our grief even as the majority of the world seems to continue as it was before, but we are forever changed.

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I’ll be honest, I have not read a Clare Mackintosh novel before. However, I know I’m now going to be picking up more of her novels. I loved her writing style in this memoir, and she wrote with such feeling. This book really had such a good outlook on grief and didn’t feel like other “self-help” books. It didn’t make me feel like my grief was something to try to push past. She really made me feel like it was okay to sit with my feelings and acknowledge them, while not letting it consume my entire being (at least not for too long).
Most of the book was about her grief relating to the loss of her son, which I can not relate to. However, she was able to really describe and talk about grief as it pertains to all types of relationships - not just grief as a parent who lost their child.
After reading this book, I felt like I’d just completed a therapy session. I felt understood and lighter than before. It feels good to feel seen and to know that you are not alone, even when you feel so alone in your grief. I look forward to reading more of Clare’s writing.

Thank you for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book!

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I promise it won’t always hurt like this by author Clare Mackintosh is a great book for working through grief! I never knew how much I needed this book until I started it. It healed things in me an appreciate the author’s delicate touch to the grieving process. I recommend this book 4.5/5!

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So sad. If you’ve ever lost someone you didn’t think you could ever live without, read this book. The fact that it is a True story makes it even more sad. I can’t imagine living without any of my children. It may not always hurt like this but it does still hurt. My heart goes out to Ms. Mackintosh for the list of her son.

Thank you to Netfalley, Clare Mackintosh and Penguin Random House for this arc in exchange for my honest review. To be published on March 1, 2024

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I believe I read this at the perfect time in my grief journey. It shone a light on experiences I had that I never put into words. The chapter titles are based off a poem and I need to print it off and put it somewhere in my house to read every day.

I cried through most of the book and had to take breaks, but I’m going to buy this book the second it comes out. I’m going to buy it for any loved ones who grieved along with me or will in the future. It was so raw, beautiful, and hopeful.

I received this from net galley in exchange for a review.

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I am no stranger to Clare Mackintosh, however, this is the first time I have met this side of her. To say I have a new found respect would be the understatement of the year.

My heart is completely and totally shattered.

I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This, is a survival guide for those who have lost someone they love. Grief, is a terrible emotion. It never goes away, it does not dull, instead you adjust and learn to live with a hole in your heart that can never be filled.

This book is personal, its touching, its angry, its raw.... its everything those of us who have lost someone, can relate to and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to read Mackintosh's memoir and felt comfort in knowing everything I have and still do feel, is very much real and I am not alone.

Sending love and hugs <3

Synopsis :

New York Times and international bestselling mystery author Clare Mackintosh makes her nonfiction debut with this deeply felt memoir of unfathomable loss, and infinite 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."

When Clare Mackintosh lost her five-week-old son, she soon discovered there are no neat, labeled stages of grief like so many books insist. The shape of each loss is different; when a parent, relative, or friend passes, we grieve the person in all their beauty, their humanity, their imperfections. For Clare, there was no preparing for the anger and excruciating ache of knowing her child's life would remain unlived. This is the book she needed then.

Inspired by a viral Twitter thread Clare wrote on the anniversary of her son's death, this deeply honest, compassionate memoir will bring solace and encouragement to anyone who finds themselves walking with grief, whether for a season or for several years. It is for those who need a little voice saying: I Promise It Won't Always Hurt Like This, for the people who love them, and those who understand that great loss can be a window through which we see how powerful, and unending, love can be.

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Extraordinary. Delving into the matter of grief and responses to it, I requested this title from Netgalley. It so perfectly described the rawness of emotion after her child's death. So many books unwisely suggest that grief is something that will disappear with time and we continue to accept that if we're still mired in our sadness weeks, months, or even years later, that there's something wrong with US. There isn't. This book is marvelous, even as it tells the story of heartbreak and loss. Definitely recommend.

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What a powerful story of loss and grief, but also hope. I wasn’t familiar with the viral twitter thread about the loss of the author’s son, which inspired the writing of the book, but I will be checking it out.

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I have always loved Clare’s work and admired her approach to talking about grief both within her books and publicly. As someone 11 years into the loss of my Mum, I wasn’t sure if I needed or would benefit from reading this but can’t say enough how thankful I am to have read it.
Grief is so individual, but also a universal experience. The reassurance of many things I’ve felt is very comforting to read, and I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone on a grief journey. Thank you Clare.

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This book is a mixture of a self-help book and a personal story. The author generously shares her thoughts and experiences of the most personal of nature to illustrate each of her eighteen promises about grief.

I wish this book had been around when I lost my son, I am sure it would have helped when I was forced to join the club that none of us want to belong to, but sadly it didn't. Reading it from the perspective of someone who is someway along the journey probably prompted fewer tears, although there were many moments when Clare Mackintosh's raw pain took my breath away, The promises to my mind were all true; I'm not sure I would have believed that back then, but this is a book you can return to and read the chapters that you need at a particular moment.

This sis a book that really helps in making sense of the myriad of emotions and issues that linger and console us that we are not alone. I am now going to act on to the author's advice to rehearse some answers to the question 'How many children do you have?' Thank you Clare Mackintosh!

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Book Title: I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This – 18 Assurances on Grief
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: Sourcebook nonfiction Sourcebooks
Genre: Memoir
Pub Date: March 1, 2024
Rating: 5 Stars
Pages: 225

Clare Mackintosh is a wonderful storyteller; I have read many of her thrillers.
This is a heartbreaking and hopeful story of her personal experience when her five-week-old son Alex died.
This memoir was inspired by a twitter thread she wrote on the 14th anniversary of his death.

I know this book isn’t for everyone but there just might be someone you know who is having a difficult time with grief and this just may be very helpful.

Book chapters are the 18 assurances promised in the title.
~ I promise it won’t always hurt like this.
2. You won’t always like awake at night sobbing until you cannot breathe
3. I promised the waves of grief that knock you off your feet won’t down you.
4. I promise you will find a way to say goodbye.
5. And a reason to keep going
6. I promise this won’t always be your first thought in the morning
7. That you won’t always fear the worst
8. I promise you won’t always feel so angry.
9. So Guilty
10. So tired
11. .I promise you will find someone who understands
12. I promise you won’t always be winded by someone else’s happiness.
13. Broken anniversaries
14. Or by questions you cannot answer
15. I promise you will be happy again.
16. That one day you will be able to pay it forward.
17. I promise you will not forget
18. I promise it won’t always hurt like this.

She also lists a few practical things that helped her
Additionally included Resources

Want to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks (Nonfiction) Sourcebooks for this early eGalley.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 1, 2024.

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GRIEF!!! For those who need to heal from a recent loss or any loss, this book is for you!!! This book has all the “feels”. It struck many nerves with me as I have lost numerous close family members in the past several years. It’s raw, emotional, a wonderful book for those who are dealing with loss. Thank you Clare for tackling this difficult subject. Beautifully written!!! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review. To be published March 2024.

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This is the first book I ever received from NetGalley to read and review and it couldn't have come at a better time. Today is my dad's birthday, he should be 56, but he died in March 2023 and I've spent the day in bed because I am sad. My birthday is three days from now, we always celebrated together and since he cannot, I do not wish to do anything either. I'm glad to have this book available to me today.

I read a few pages and immediately reached for my laptop because already I had things to say, I connected with this book quickly. Too many times when people offer comfort on grief, it's religious and/or it's not helpful because lets be honest, no one knows what to say. But for me, what's most helpful is being honest without all the fluff because death nor grief is pretty. One of the promises made in this book is that the author will be honest and another is that the reader will not always hurt like they do initially, both of which resonated with me greatly.

As I kept reading, the sentence, "I'm okay" I said. "Because that's the script isn't it? I imagine you've said it too..." grabbed me because yes, I have said it too. Many times. In the hospital, at the funeral, and many times after that I keep repeating this lie that I'm okay without my dad because really what choice do I have? If you're honest it's awkward, people don't know what to say, how to comfort you, and you know there really isn't anything anyone can do or say to make it better, so you just say you're okay.

The author highlights how she believes asking the name of the person who died to be the single most important thing to ask someone who's grieving because typically people ask how the person died, as though the cause of death is more important than the life it took. I can't say his name out loud and I don't know if that's weird, but it hurts me. But it also hurts not to talk about him so I can also relate that the person they were, their identity is much more important than their cause of death. I found it interesting that the author shared the ugly thoughts of grief too, and one of those was that when she met a woman open to talking about grief, she thought that she couldn't have loved the person she lost because she can talk about it. I could talk about my dad all day with anyone that would listen but it's because I loved him so much that I want to share everything about him, even if it hurts and it's interesting how people handle things differently.

The author discusses how death of a loved one gets easier, not better, but easier and I too have found that as well as offered that to others. who are grieving. I still miss my dad terribly, it still hurts. But it's not quite as intense, thank goodness. Because if we had to live with the initial feeling of losing someone close to you, I don't know how any of us would make it through.

This book is a great guide and reference book for someone grieving, no matter how early or late they are in their grieving process. For me, I thought this was the perfect time for me to read it because I'm not considered newly bereaved, but it hasn't been a year yet so the feelings and thoughts are still quite fresh. This book validated the feelings I already have while preparing and comforting me for what's to come. It reads as though a friend or a older, wiser person is offering support and advice for what they've been through (because she has), which is incredibly important because we may not all have people to discuss our most personal thoughts with that understands. When I was in the hospital after it was made known that my dad's cancer was terminal and he didn't have long, I was offered support and I said, "I think the only person who could help me at all is someone who also lost their dad."

Thank you Clare Mackintosh for understanding, though I'm sorry that you do. And thank you NetGalley for sharing this wonderful book with me. I needed to know that it won't always hurt like this.

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"Inspired by a viral Twitter thread Clare wrote on the anniversary of her son's death, this deeply honest, compassionate memoir will bring solace and encouragement to anyone who finds themselves walking with grief, whether for a season or for several years."

As someone who loves this author for her mystery/thriller books- HOSTAGE IS EXCELLENT, I was super interested to read about her personal life. I was unfamiliar with the tweet thread or that she lost her son when he was so young. This book was such a beautiful read and really portrays all the feelings of grief in a way where you feel VALIDATED in your own feelings. I also found myself saying, "Yes, this is exactly how I feel, what a beautiful way to express what I am feeling."

The most important reminder if you're going through grief is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! <3

Thank you to netgalley and the author for this arc in exchange a fair and honest review.

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An engaging and important look at grief. A recommended purchase for most general nonfiction collections.

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The title of Mackintosh's book grabbed me immediately, the poetic table of contents brought tears to my eyes, and then the book itself offered page after page of exquisite writing, sharing her life events with spare yet telling detail.

As a book coach for memoir writers, I knew I'd use this as a mentor text when Mackintosh writes: "I write to make sense of the world, and of my place in it, and I write to find people who feel the same way I do. I write in the hope that my words will resonate with others; that they will read a line over and over and say, This. This is how I feel." This is why we write memoir. Mackintosh writes of her grief and yet always has her reader in mind. Rather than a chronology of her experience of grief, Mackintosh skillfully writes thematic chapters that can each be read as a standalone piece. She alternates between reflections on her own experience and gentle advice (and I use that word loosely) for the reader. The reader feels seen and left with hope that it won't always hurt like this.

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“Loving other people doesn’t make it easier to lose someone; it simply gives you a reason to keep going.” Great quote by Clare Mackintosh.

Clare Mackintosh opened her personal life to readers about the grief and pain she’s been living with since Alex died. It’s taken her many years to reach this point where she can write about her experience.

Grief hits everybody differently and I’m glad that Clare and her husband didn’t lose sight of each other in the grieving process. Most couple grow apart while it seems both of you bonded.

It’s hard to rate a story based on personal experience. Clare shares what grief feels like to her and offers others the ability to relate to her grief or understand it.

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Such a validating book - I wish it had been around for me to read when I was mired in the depths of my grief. Sometimes I feel dumb that after 13 years, my grief can STILL be triggered so quickly that I don’t even begin to see it coming. This book reassures me that I am not alone.

This book is a fantastic companion for anyone who has experienced grief. It helps the reader to remember that they are not alone. Thank you so much to NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book was serendipity. I had just received news that my precious Elmo, a 12 year old Springer Spaniel would not survive his cancer diagnosis, when an email arrived with the offer to read this galley. I devoured it from cover to cover. The author doesn't sugar coat grief, but she tells her story, which is heart wrenching. She offers a number of promises that takes you through the grieving process with candidness and empathy. This book soothes the soul, and although my pain is still real, I know that it will change over time and I will be o.k. Loss is part of love and life, but it still isn't easy. This book is that friend, who has taken that journey, and is beside you to remind you that grief can and will change and that we need not be ashamed to feel it for however long it takes, and that everyone grieves differently and in their own way. I am anxious to read other books she has written, and I hope to buy many copies to hand out to someone in need. Thank you so much to Clare and for the opportunity and the timing of this book.

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