Kate and Patrick are blissful newlyweds. One morning Patrick tells Kate that he has something important to talk to her about that evening. Unfortunately, he is killed in a random accident that day. (It happens in the first three pages of the book, and it’s the gist of the story, so I’m not giving away a secret.) Kate is inconsolable over losing her husband whom she loves so much. Randomly, she doesn’t seem to give one single thought to what he was going to tell her that evening.
Fast forward 12 years, and our Kate is getting ready to marry Dan, perfect husband material. She should be delighted, but isn’t. She just can’t get over the death of Patrick. It doesn’t help that she begins having weirdly realistic dreams about her life with Patrick as though he hadn’t died. In the dreams, she has a happy life that includes a hard-of-hearing daughter. From that moment on, the reader must begin suspending reality. Kate knows things because she sees them in her dreams.
I found The Life Intended, by Kristin Harmel, to be enjoyably readable, even if unrealistic. The main character, Kate, begins learning sign language as a result of her dreams so that she will be able to understand her daughter in future dreams. Through her ASL classes, she meets Andrew, who works with the Deaf community, especially young people. Kate begins to help him out through her occupation as a music therapist. Life unfolds….
Despite the decidedly odd premise of the story, I enjoyed this book I liked learning about the Deaf community, about sign language, and about music therapy. I enjoyed Harmel’s character development and liked the characters I was supposed to like and disliked the ones I should. I got a bit tired of Kate’s mooning over Patrick after 12 years. (I don’t think grief has a time period, but seriously, moooooooning). Still, the author was aptly able to depict the nature of Kate and Patrick’s relationship in just a few pages, and that is impressive.
Though some of the events that happened at the end were predictable, I was caught by surprise at others.
I definitely would pick up another of Harmel’s books based on The Life Intended.
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