Cover Image: Everyone Is Still Alive

Everyone Is Still Alive

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Member Reviews

Enjoyable enough, as far as these keeping-up-with-the-school-gate-mums novels go, but also completely forgettable. The focus slipped too far from the central couple and their life story. More might have been made of Juliet’s grief (Rentzenbrink’s recurring theme, and the best aspect of the book) and Liam’s novel in progress. The central crises were such clichés, and the West London setting wasn’t brought to life in any meaningful way. I hoped for deeper insight into suburbia and gender roles in parenting, along the lines of Sarah Moss or Tom Perrotta, but this remained determinedly lite in the vein of Rachel Johnson and Nina Stibbe. Page 247 in the Phoenix hardback could have worked as the ending. (2.75 stars)
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Everyone is Still Alive is one of the best written books I've read in a long time. Subtle, nuanced, and absolutely filled with wholly accurate depictions of marriage and parenthood.

Juliet, husband Liam, and young son Charlie, have just moved to Magnolia Road - into her late Mum's house. It's a period of adjustment and grief for Juliet. She works while Liam stays at home and writes. She feels like she's failing as a mum. And is resentful of still having so many domestic duties to do.

Liam makes friends with some local Mums, who seem at first glance - Ghastly. Competitive. Pretentious. He has the idea to use their lives as inspiration for his novel.

We get a glimpse into the lives of three other couples, all with young children. I don't think I've ever read such accurate depictions of the strain raising children puts on a marriage. The writing is so so clever here. We read one spouse's side of the story, and feel empathy. But then we read the other side, and everything we believe is questioned. We all have our version of the truth, and lack of communication can lead to such stalemate.

This is a story that is more about creating an intimate human portrait. There is some drama. But the point of this is not action, but delving deep into the lives of others.

Truly remarkable writing, I enjoyed every word.
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Just beautiful, an amazing read. I was gifted a hard copy . I will definitely read more of this authors work.  Would recommend for sure
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I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher. 
At first, this book was a pretty bleak portrayal of the mundanity of marriage, being a parent, and of everyday life, where sometimes the struggles, dramas, and trivialities seem insurmountable. 
It ends with a near tragedy and a redemption arc for all characters which puts things into perspective for everyone involved. All very neat and tidy and wound up in a bow. A feelgood and unrealistic ending, but pretty depressing at the beginning!
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Cathy Rentzenbrink for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This book is based on Juliet and her husband who move into her mother's house after she passes away. Unfortunately, I didn't find this book to have any depth or interest and found myself uninterested in the lives and story. 

I am disappointed as I had heard good things about Cathy's writing. Maybe it was just that I wasn't interested in this type of book at that time, but it just wasn't for me.
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Cathy Rentzenbrink can do no wrong with anything that she writes.  She is able to write a funny, moving and wise reflection of modern life and marriage as she portrays the social hierarchy and competitive social goals of of a number of families on the street that Liam and Juliet move into.  For a bulk of the book it seems to be a suburban study of various married/separated couples in the street until a party at one of the neighbours houses ends in an accident. 
Everyone is Still Alive sums it up, a near miss, a chance to put it all in perspective and reassess what is important in live.  Cathy writes with heart and captures the inner thoughts of us all in her portrayal of a small neighbourhood.  The book should do well as a study of relationships, family and love.  Its not a fast burn but a slow steady read that is rewarding and full of heart.
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I quite enjoyed spending a few hours in the company of the inhabitants of Magnolia Road, a group of privileged middle-class, financially comfortable young parents of small children as they forge friendships and alliances to support each other through the oh so onerous first-world problems of marriage, relationships, parenting, jobs and just general day-to-day existence. The book is well-observed, reasonably insightful, mildly amusing at times and is a pleasant enough if ultimately pointless read, especially with its too neat fairy-tale ending, but overall not one to get excited about.
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I loved this book it’s a honest reflection on life after loss and the changes of love and family over the years. I loved the dynamic of the street and all the different families in and out of each other’s lives. Some times things change but you just need to remember to make time for your loved ones and not get caught up in all the other rubbish of life and ultimately even in death you can remember the good times and the memories will one day make you smile again.
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I’m finding it hard to decide on how I rate this book because it was certainly much more interesting before the dramatic event ( I won’t do a spoiler) than after it. In fact it almost felt like the author got bored of the story. Which is a shame because whilst. not exactly riveting  there was some very nice character development in the first about three quarters which reminded me a little of maybe Liane Moriarty.  
Because I enjoyed the bulk of the book I will give it four stars but if there were half stars it would only have deserved a three and a half.
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Juliet and her husband, Liam, move into Magnolia Road with their small son Charlie after Juliet’s mother dies and leaves them her house. Liam has published a successful novel, so he is the main carer for Charlie while Juliet is the breadwinner, but she feels that she still takes on much of the burden of housework and childcare as well as working full time and their relationship has taken a back seat. As they get to know the other parents on the street, it becomes clear that the demands of being a good parent take their toll in different ways, and none of the women are “having it all,” which seems to offer prime material for Liam’s next book. Then an accident puts everything into perspective….
This engaging and often funny book took me right back through the years to when I was Mum to young children, with all the joys, fears, exhaustion and lack of time for anything outside their needs and demands, making me both nostalgic and relieved that I have got past all that! Rentzenbrink really captures those conflicting feelings of desperate love for your children and trying to give them the best of everything while feeling frequently inadequate, bored with the routines and frustrated about everything you have to give up or sideline in the process. The rivalries between families and the conflicts felt between partners are well portrayed, and Juliet’s struggles as a working mother, resenting what seems to be Liam’s easy life while grieving for and missing her own mother, are realistic and relateable. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Grieving Juliet moves into her late mother’s house with her husband Liam and their son Charlie. Whilst she heads into work she leaves Liam the novelist to become friends with the neighbours of Magnolia Road. Liam is hoping the neighbours will provide the material he needs for his second novel. But before they know it, one marriage ends, suspicions are rife in others and one incident at a children’s birthday party means life will never be the same for Juliet and her family. 

This is a quickly and easy read but unfortunately for me it wasn’t a satisfying one. The characters are really unlikeable and I understand that this is in part a device for redemption arcs but by the end of the book it becomes a bit twee. Everything is wrapped up in a neat package by the end. It’s not a book I would recommend but thank you to the author, publishers and Netgalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Everyone Is Still Alive is a moving début by Cathy Rentzenbrink. The story follows Juliet, Liam and their son Charlie who are moving into Juliet's late mother’s house. The author's characters are complex and well-drawn, and the plot is stylish and intriguing. It was fascinating reading about the other inhabitants at Magnolia Road as writer, Liam formed new friendships at the after school groups and coffee mornings. All in all a heartrending, well written. story of grief, guilt, societal issues, family life and relationships that I recommend very highly.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Orion Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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A book about family life on Magnolia Road. We get to peer through the virtual windows of Juliet, Helen, Lucy and Sarah's lives and see what goes on behind the smiling facade of the school run.
The trials and tribulations of both working and stay at home mothers are well described along with the varied emotions of each of the couples.
A cleverly observed book that you want to keep reading to find out what will happen to them all.
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It is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother's house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she can't imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them. But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors - all of which are going straight into his new novel . . .
A book which is an observational novel about family and relationships it follows the lives of those living on Magnolia road. Laugh and cry  you will love reading this book.
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Mostly the story off Juliet, her husband Liam and their young son Charlie. They move into her mother's house on Magnolia Road after her death. . Juliet is the main breadwinner and Liam joins the neighbouring mothers at the schoolgates and coffee mornings. He is also a writer and is thinking about using the minutae of the lives of their neighbours in his new book. This book feels very realistic, lots of detail about the lives of families with young children, the problems , worries and routines of their  lives. It also touches on where the problems between partners emerge as the needs of children sometimes end up taking over. Honestly written, though was slightly suprised when the story was suddenly picked up in another family . 
Grief is well dealt with and as the book progresses some of the characters come to realise what really is important., though most seem to live a yummy mummy lifestyle which is perhaps not how the majority live. I would definitely read more from this author 
Thank you to Net Galley for th ARC in exchange for an honest review
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t is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother's house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she can't imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them. But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors - all of which are going straight into his new novel . . .Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends ripples through the group, painful home truths are brought to light. And then, one sun-drenched afternoon at a party, a single moment changes everything.

This book was a change in my usual reading of thrillers and it was welcomed. 
This book is light hearted, enjoyable read which reminds us of exactly what is important. 
The book was read in under 24 hours, due to how easy the writing flowed. The book is very character driven
The book made me laugh out loud at parts. Focusing on the fads of today, this book is highly recommended

Thank you for inviting me to be part of the tour
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This is just a brilliant beautiful read
If you asked me what happened in the book I’d have to say nothing and everything! 
 This book is about life. Ordinary everyday frustrating, lovely, complicated life. Love, loss, grief, fear and all our insecurities laid bare on the pages in front of us. 
I read this over two evenings and I genuinely didn’t want to put it down
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What they say: It is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother's house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she can't imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them. But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors - all of which are going straight into his new novel . . . Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends ripples through the group, painful home truths are brought to light. And then, one sun-drenched afternoon at a party, a single moment changes everything. 

My thoughts: I thought this was well written, engaging and an interesting insight into the characters lives. There is a lot of parenting, squabbling, anxiety, whinging, anxiety. It's a sensitive and also funny book, I liked it. A good take on modern, small community life of families and all their trials and tribulations.
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Everyone is Still Alive by Cathy Rentzenbrink

Julia moves into her late mother's house on Magnolia Road in London, along with her husband Liam and young son Charlie.  They are soon involved in a group of other couples and their children, and the story follows them all as they navigate home, school and work.

I loved this book - it made me laugh and cry!  The characters were very well drawn and the storylines extremely true to life - I cringed and laughed many times but there were poignant moments too.  An excellent portrayal of modern parenting and grief, relationships, work, school.   Very highly recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
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One of my favourite books I have read this year. Grief, family life, the mundane day to day- all play out in this family life, domestic novel. Beautifully written, I whizzed through this book- moments of sheer desperation, to flashes of humour, the full spectrum of emotion. A great read.
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