In Every Life

A Novel

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Sep 06 2024

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What happens when a husband's dying wish is for his wife to find a new love . . . before he's even gone?

Ben and Harper have had a rough start to their marriage. After a surprise late-stage cancer diagnosis, Ben comes up with one final wish for his wife: he wants Harper to find a new partner before he dies. Harper is resistant to this wacky plan. If she can't have Ben, then she doesn't want anyone. Finally, he lets it drop, but not before the New York Times sends a journalist to do a feature story about Ben's life . . . and his idea. When Harper opens the door, she is stunned to find the one man who got away. Or, the man she spent one perfect week with a decade ago and never saw again: Liam Hale.

Suddenly, Harper is faced with her ultimate what-if:

What if Harper had ended up with Liam instead of Ben?

What if she'd pursued life as an artist instead of teaching?

What if it had all turned out differently?

After making a wish, Harper wakes up to find herself in a parallel universe . . . where her what-ifs become a reality.

Is the grass really greener, or is she standing right where she should be, even as she inevitably faces the pain of losing the one she loves?

What happens when a husband's dying wish is for his wife to find a new love . . . before he's even gone?

Ben and Harper have had a rough start to their marriage. After a surprise late-stage cancer...

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ISBN 9781400243136
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Featured Reviews

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ฆ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ซ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š๐œ๐ซ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐จ๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง, ๐ซ๐ž๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ง, ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐›๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ. ๐๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ง๐จ ๐ž๐ง๐. ๐ˆ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐œ๐ž, ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ, ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ.

Five hours after starting this book, here I am.
I'm having a hard time thinking about anything right now.

I was just looking for a book to read on Netgalley.
I didn't expect to find a favorite. Ironically, this favorite broke my heart.
This book broke me in such a beautiful way.

Ben and Harper have just gotten married when the bad news comes : Ben has cancer, stage 4, and he has little time to live.

Illness is a sensitive subject whether we are faced with it or not. And this book makes us feel it because the words that Rea Frey gave us are simply magnificent.

And thatโ€™s when I tell myself that pain has a certain beauty. A heartbreaking, striking beauty.

Ben loves Harper more than anything, but he wishes she could have someone else before he dies. He wishes her to fall in love with someone else before he dies.

And again, it hurts.

One of the reasons this hurts so much is because this situation can and probably has happened in real life. Itโ€™s a situation thatโ€™s entirely likely, thatโ€™s where the pain lies.
It hurts because it's easy to imagine being in Ben's place, wishing the love of our life to move on, to continue living.

Ben and Harper's relationship is beautiful. Their love is magnificent. I truly believe that this type of love that exists and never dies.

Then fate invites itself. The journalist supposed to interview Ben about his life happens to be the man Harper loved intensely - for a week - more than ten years ago, when she still dreamed of making a living from her art.

From there, we alternate between present and past. The past which allows us to discover this love which only lasted a week.

Perhaps this is where my heart also alternated between โ€œjoyโ€ and pain. The past allowed me to detach myself from the present, from the present of Ben and Harper.
But as soon as Liam and Harper's past ended, my heart had to face the inevitable.

The writing style is absolutely perfect. If that hadn't been the case, I wouldn't have loved this book the way I do.

This book is not all pain, far from it.
Like I said, pain has a kind of beauty. Just like the uncertain.

What if? What if Harper had never left Liam? What if she had succeeded in becoming the artist she wanted to be?

After all these questions, we find ourselves in a completely different reality. Harper never left New York, and she never left Liam. And itโ€™s a whole other life that we discover.

I really loved this part. It was a breath of air before reality caught up with Harper, before it caught up with me.

I cried, I cry. And I think my heart will always sink when I think of this book. Because the inevitable has happened. But it arrived in a beautiful way.

"๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฅ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ญ." ๐‡๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž. "๐Œ๐š๐ฒ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ ."

I didn't expect this ending. I didn't want to see this ending. But it came, it broke me and it made me smile. It was so beautiful.

"๐๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ, ๐๐ž๐ง๐ฃ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ง ๐€๐๐š๐ฆ ๐…๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. ๐“๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ญ."

This book is about love, illness, lack of time, second chances. But it also talks about finding yourself, giving yourself time to move forward.

Harper loves and always will love Ben.
Harper loves and always will love Liam.
But Harper loves and will always love herself as well.

I loved reading this book. I don't regret spending the whole night reading it. This is a book I won't forget and will buy as soon as it becomes available for purchase.

Thank you Rea Frey for this masterpiece, and thank you Netgalley.

Here's some of my favorite quotes.

๐Ÿ•. ๐…๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ, ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฅ๐š๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ง ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐ž.
๐Ÿ–. ๐‘๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ญ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐›๐ž๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž.. ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐ญ๐จ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก.

"๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ."

"๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐ง'๐ญ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ž," ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ. "๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž, ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž. ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž." ๐‡๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ.

"๐ˆ ๐š๐ฆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐‹๐ข๐š๐ฆ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ค๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐, ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ฆ."

๐…๐จ๐ซ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ,
๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ.

"๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐ž'๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ," ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ž๐š๐ซ. ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐›๐จ๐๐ฒ ๐ž๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐›๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐๐ž. "๐ˆ'๐ฏ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐." ๐‡๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐š ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฏ๐ž, ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ฌ ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ, ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐‹๐ข๐š๐ฆ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž.

"๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐ "

"๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ, '๐๐ž๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ: ๐ข๐ง ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž?"

"๐ˆ'๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž"

"๐ˆ๐ญ'๐ฌ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ."

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Thank you so much, NetGalley for the chance. Could not put this book down! I was immediately drawn into the creative storyline and the authorโ€™s smooth writing style.

Harper is such a strong yet vulnerable heroine. There are several creative twists that had my heart bending for both loves of Harper. One of the most tender love triangles I have ever read.

If the synopsis left you intrigued, just wait until you get into the novel. Unputdownable!!

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This book has it all!
It is heartwarming,yet sooo very heartbreaking that it will stir all your emotions.
Now add some time-hopping to keep one guessing and you have a touching, novel that I had to finish in a day..
Can you imagine being on your honeymoon and finding out your new husband is terminally ill?
When Harper asks Ben what is on his bucket list, he has a wish that she cannot imagine or believe.
The story continues as a bit of magic comes in to play.
There is love,acceptance, drama, tears and so much more that I truly enjoyed this story and as always Rea Frey has done it again!
Thank you to @NetGalley and to @Harper Muse for this ARC and allowing me to read and provide my own review.

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what a beautiful, inspiring story. a story about love, about loss, about learning how to follow your dreams every moment of your life.

the execution is really well-done, and the book is infused with a variety of endearing characters. to be honest, I was prepared to not be swayed by Liam as a character and instead focus more on Harperโ€™s husband, Ben. that went out the window when Liam first stepped onto the page, because of his compassion, kindness and invalueble insight. you canโ€™t help but love him!

I think the most interesting part of this book is Harperโ€™s journey and self-discovery. she learns how to come to terms with Benโ€™s diagnosis, with the decisions sheโ€™s made throughout her life and how they shaped her present. itโ€™s a fascinating transition, made all the more compelling by the manifestation/spiritual elements scattered in the story.

the ending wraps everything up splendidly, and I was left with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. definitely recommend!

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I really loved this book. The emotions it made me feel and the storytelling were beautiful. I felt for all the characters and would definitely reread when I want something to have me in my feels!

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I thought this was a beautifully done story, it had a great overall feel to it and had a interesting take on the what if romance. It had a great concept and was used perfectly with what I wanted based on the description. Rea Frey creates a beautifully done story and I was glad I was able to read this. The characters were everything that I was hoping for and thought they were perfect in this world. I could understand what was going on and enjoyed the parallel universe elements to this book.

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I absolutely loved this novel about Ben and Harper as they navigate his cancer diagnosis and literally "wait" for him to die! But journalist (and old flame) Liam suddenly appears to do an article and Harper is thrown back into her unresolved feelings for this handsome man. As a high school art teacher, Harper has thrown herself into work and caring for her husband and is shocked and somewhat delighted to see Liam but also unsettled by the newest "condition" Ben has put on her. Told in a "then" and "now" format (and even a "what if" one), the novel documents this beautiful love story that still has me teary-eyed in its emotional impact.
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

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I definitely felt "in five years" vibes from this one, and I mean that as a compliment. It was a sweet story, of course heartbreaking. I felt the ending left some questions, but I realize that may have been intentional. I will definitely recommend this to other readers.

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This book hit so close to home. Itโ€™s emotionally gripping, sad, but extremely poignant and powerful. A definite read worth your time. Donโ€™t miss it.

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Ben and Harper just started their life together when Ben collapses on the honeymoon. How could this man have late stage cancer? As Ben and Harper navigate this terrifying time, Ben finds a way to ease his transition; find Harper a new love. he wants to know that Harper will be okay once he dies. He can't have her mourning over him. He wants her happy. Harper doesn't even want to entertain this in the least. Before Ben gets too sick, Ben is going to be featured in the New York Times. As soon as Harper opens the door to let the journalist in, Harper is taken back to her life in New York. How is Liam, the man she spent an amazing week with, at her door getting ready to write about her dying husband's life? Liam brings everything back for Harper and why she left New York. How is Harper ever going to figure all of this out?
In Every Life by Rea Frey is an amazing story that will have you in tears by the end of the story. I love that this included a love story, a little paranormal time-traveling, and friendship. This book has it all. I will be recommending this to all my book loving friends and will always be on the outlook for the new work by Rea Frey. Special thanks to NetGalley, Rea Frey, and Harper Muse for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 5 stars for me!
#InEveryLife #NetGalley

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This book is worth getting into. I love the premise of alternate realities and parallel lives...etc... so I'm glad I stuck with it! I found that going back and forth between "what is..." and "what was..." to be very helpful as far as moving the story along and filling us in on Harper's history with Liam without confusing us as we read. Then as soon as I read the section that led in with "what if...." I was totally hooked! The author made the month that Harper spends in NYC with Liam and the life they could have had totally believable. I loved all the little surprises along the way, and how much the whole novel made me think about things like marriage and love at first connection and grief and the Universe and the power of community. Special kudos to the author for writing so beautifully about art and artists and their creative lives.

Thanks to the author and publisher, and NetGalley, for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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GOODBYE, farewell, this book will be the death of me! (But internally more like !!!!!!!) Magical realism is one of my favorite genres and this reminded me of so many great books that I love and hold close to my heart <spoiler>(like The Time Traveler's Wife, one of my go to reads for a big cry!)</spoiler>. I found the story to be so well done in every timeline and packed with meaning โ€“ there's nothing in this book that I would cut, and in fact, I was left wanting an epilogue to the epilogue.

TW for a cancer battle and diagnosis, which I imagine could be really triggering to read.

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