Cover Image: The Woman Who Came Back to Life

The Woman Who Came Back to Life

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Member Reviews

I like big messy family drama and this book didn’t disappoint. I liked the setting in France. I did feel like the writing was a little simplistic or trite. “Jeanie’s face was red with fury”  and talking about the “gloves coming off” reminded me of books for middle grade readers, not adults. It wasn’t bad, I just like a little more nuance especially if there is going to be a fairly slow plot.
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What a beautiful story! Pearl, who is 52, has been living a secluded life in a cabin with her husband. She has been estranged from her father and siblings for years, but when her father passes away and leaves her his diaries...everything starts to change. So much tragedy and heartbreak...but also second chances. I really enjoyed this!
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Pearl Flowers lives in a fairy tale cottage in the woods in France. Her life is small, strict and safe. Everyday is planned. Mondays she takes the middle path through the trees, on Wednesday the right, and on Fridays, her special day, she takes the long way into the village. If she makes sure to follow her routine, she can avoid thinking about the past. But then an unexpected phone call throws everything into chaos: Francis, Peral's estranged father, has died and left her a bequest. One she can only claim if she agrees to come to his funeral and see the family she's been hiding from for so long.  The pace is steady in this heart-warming and heart-breaking read. Pearl is in her 50s and set in her ways. When her father dies, she has to go back for his funeral and meet the family she's been estranged from. I was intrigued by the premise and I wasn't disappointed by the storyline. The story is set between France and England. It did take a couple of chapters for me to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked.
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This is my first book by Beth Miller and I more or less read it in one sitting - it's that good! A story about a daughter abandoned by her father at a very important time in her life, and the belief that he then spent the rest of his life not caring or thinking about her or her brothers, the family he left behind when he met his (future) second wife.

The story has a lot of characters, all with their own complexities and perceptions of the past so is a bit convoluted until you understand how they all fit together. A wonderful book that brings many of our human flaws - wanting to protect those we love, our assumptions and perceptions - into the light. Relatable and touching, and a fantastic read.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for the ARC to read and review. All opinions are strictly my own.
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Meh. This wasn’t bad but I also couldn’t say it was good. Pearl was an infuriating character. Whining about being labeled Little Miss Mouse but acting meek and helpless at every turn. She can’t seem to make any decisions for herself and has let her husband “lock” her away in the woods. But it turns out she’s been lying to him all along, or at least omitting everything that’s happened in her life. Yet when he finds this out and is understandably mad what does she do? Lie some more. More lies, more cover ups. It’s really terrible. Denny and Pearl both met as carers and instead of being unburdened once they lost both of their charges, Pearl makes Denny her carer. And then complains about it. It really irked me that even after realizing she had kept so much from her spouse, she starts lying about and hiding new things. Not in the least getting on a plane to cross the country instead of traipsing around town as her husband was told. Sticking her nose into everyone else’s business but getting mad when they dare ask about her. 

The backbone of the story here is what happened to the father, Francis. Even after the big “reveal” it’s noted that one of his kids knew exactly what was going on and did nothing. This man was in hell for 30 odd years. His kids? “Oh well” Maybe his decision to stay with his new family is exactly the kind of messed up decision Pearl would make herself. 

I just felt this was very messy and not well thought out. Everyone in everyone else’s business but doing absolutely nothing to help. Treating each other poorly and then crying when they are on the receiving end.
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Pearl has mixed emotions when her estranged father dies. Their relationship deteriorated when he left his first family to set up a second, and now thetre is no chance of a reconciliation. Now Pearl is given a bequest in her father's will and it reveals secrets that make her re-evaluate the past and her present...
The Woman Who Came Back To Life is an emotional novel about the twists and turns of love and life, intricate family relationships, and the bravery needed to face the past and the future.
Pearl Flowers has an unhappy past with very strained relationships with her family. Her father's death and bequest leads her to re-establish relationships with her siblings as well as others from her past that she thought were lost forever. However this puts pressure on her marriage to Denny as she pulls away from his protective security.
The book is written from Pearl's and Carrie's first person perspectives which give us an intimacy into their lives and situations. The narrative tone is naturalistic and has lovely touches of humour which soften the pathos of the plot. The family relationships vary from completely estranged to teasing exchanges, long lost love and new beginnings. There is plenty of grief at all that has been lost but also thankfulness for the love left behind.
The Woman Who Came Back To Life is a wonderfully warm novel about accepting the past and looking to the future.
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Hairdresser Pearl lives a routine and contented life with her partner in a French cottage surrounded by woods. When she gets a call from her brother to say their estranged father Francis is dying in England, she is thrust back into the drama of the family that she sought to escape. 
Her father has left her a special bequest which may just allow her to make peace with her past and forge a new future. 
Meanwhile Carrie needs to fulfil her mother’s dying wish and attend Francis’ funeral even though she has never met him.
This was an endearing, poignant tale as Pearl goes on a journey to learn why her father abandoned her and realises the importance of reconnecting with family.
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I enjoyed this a lot more then I thought I would. This is definitely a read that looks at family dynamics - relationships, past hurts, buried secrets, what we believe to be the situation is not necessarily that in someone else’s life. Lots of different characters but written so well that the characters are easily identifiable. I really enjoyed this authors style of writing and even if 2 characters are coming from opposite sides you can identify with both. Listening to this storyline unfolding and it’s not all plain sailing and some issues can’t be resolved but I liked that it didn’t all just work out and portrays how life plays out sometimes. The biggest lesson I took away from it is if someone’s actions hurt you try to keep an open mind and consider there may be more at play and a lot of the time you can’t keep everyone happy and in order to keep some happy others can get hurt in the process but it’s not intentional. Really enjoyable listen that gives you all the feels 🥲🥰… 

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this ARC that was published on the 5th of 2022.
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Wow loved this book what a fantastic read.  I have never read any by Beth Miller before but i would read hers again.  Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to review such a beautiful book.
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Loved it!!! I couldn't put the book down, then when I got to the end I was sad the story was over. I wanted to read more about Pearl, Carrie and the rest of the crazy family. I'm pretty sure I went through every emotion while reading this, I know there were even tears. Jeanie was a piece of work and a horrible stepmother. You can't really call her a stepmother because she wanted nothing to do with her husband's children. Francis played his part in not seeing his children. He chose his wife over his children. He allowed his wife to dictate the relationship that he would have with his children. By the time Francis realized what an awful person Jeanie was, it was too late and he stayed with her. I'm pretty sure it was because of manipulation, not love. The worst part was I could understand what Pearl was going through with her father. Denny and Pearl's relationship was not healthy. Denny wanted her secluded and all for himself. He loved her but was too smothering. Pearl going to her father's funeral was the best thing for her. She started breaking out of the mold that she had been stuck in for the last five years. Carrie was a surprise to the whole story. I'm still on the fence about Andrea. When she went to visit with Pearl, I thought they might be able to have a good relationship. Andrea needs to get away from her mother. Jeanie is toxic. Loved this book and all the relationships the characters had with each other.

Definitely recommend this book. Loved the characters, story and writing style- so everything about it. The book was magical and beautifully written. I felt like I got to know everyone and was part of the dysfunctional family. Look forward to reading more books by the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Excellent read, this is an emotional look at starting again. Pearl has been sticking to the same routine for years, but when a family emergency brings her home, she has to take a look at her life from the outside. Is it ever too late to make a new start and find happiness?

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.
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If your favoured reading material is a compelling tale with a good sprinkling of relationships, imperfection, redemption, secrets and family then The Woman Who Came Back to Life by Beth Miller is a must-read for you! This book is substantially about estrangement, loss, love, parent-child relationships, and lost opportunities, and the synopsis also implies a soupçon of mystery, which was exactly the reading experience I had.

Beth Miller has an admirable writing style: it is seamless, flows well, and is wonderfully expressive. The characterisation is impressive with an unforgettable cast of people that are complex and determined, though difficult and flawed to somewhat varying degrees. The character-driven plot is told from the points of view of Pearl and another initially unknown character named Carrie, as well as extracts from Francis' (Pearl's father) diaries. The story covers the period from 1981 to 2018, but not chronologically. This was an exceptionally compulsive story and the ending was good. I really enjoyed living in the characters' pockets throughout their respective journeys. Warm, deeply emotive, heart-rending, funny, heart-breaking all at once - this book is very highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bookouture via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I loved this book.  I was hooked from the very beginning.  Such a lovely story both heartbreaking and heartwarming in the same measure.  The diary written in shorthand that could only be understood by Pearl was a wonderful touch.  I loved how the story unfolded and really enjoyed reading about each of the characters. A very powerful and touching read.  Brilliant.
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I think this is the first Beth Miller book I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last, I don’t think I’ve felt so many emotions from a book in a long time, it’s so emotional, heartwarming and moving. The writing in is so beautiful, the descriptions so atmospheric and enveloping you as you read, I love an author who truly makes you feel like you are there with the characters. The characters are well constructed and captivating, you really go through the emotional journey and those diaries ! No spoilers, but you need to read this treasure of a book.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I never start reading a Beth Miller novel without making sure that I have a supply of tissues close at hand, and I’m really glad I took that precaution on this occasion as I needed them. This author has a real knack of getting to the heart of human emotions and displaying them vividly on the page in a way that will pierce even the stoniest of hearts. Since I am basically an emotionally susceptible ball of mush at the best of times, her writing always reduces me to a sobbing puddle.

In this book we meet Pearl, a woman in the middle of her life who is forced against her will to confront the problems that have been stalking her dysfunctional family for the past forty years when they are drawn back together by the death of her estranged father. Gradually, over the course of the novel, all of the families long buried secrets are exposed, faces and events from the past come back to haunt Pearl, and everyone is forced to deal with issues they were hoping could stay buried but which, now they are in the open, could provide opportunities for everyone to move on.

The exploration of human relationships, be those romantic, familial or between friends, are the foundations of all Beth Miller’s writing and she has a really acute eye for what makes people tick and how these bonds are forged, broken and what effect this has on people. Her characters are strong, rounded and always authentic and anyone who picks up one of her books will recognise themselves, other people they know, relationship dynamics they have experienced or life events they have gone through in her writing. This book in particular resonated very deeply with me because one of the events affecting Pearl is something that has also impacted greatly on my life and the reactions of herself and those around her were so familiar to me that it brought all the emotion relating to that event rushing back. In this way, reading can be a cathartic experience and is one of the things I most appreciate about authors writing authentically about difficult issues.

I love the fact that the protagonist in this book is a woman of a similar age to myself. As I get older, I love to see books featuring more mature characters and exploring all the wealth of life experience we have amassed by this age. When you are young, you think adults have everything sussed out and nothing exciting ever happens because life is sorted out. Once you get here, you know that this isn’t the case and all that has happened is that we have accrued a lot more baggage to sort through, which makes for fascinating reading.

This is the most fantastic, emotional, moving and mature novel and it really touched me. It is a beautiful illustration of how life and families work, it feels very real and honest without being maudlin and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this type of novel.
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BLOG TOUR REVIEW 

Review for 'The Woman Who Came Back To Life' by Beth Miller. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Beth Miller, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 5th January 2022.

This is the first book I have read by this author. 

I was originally drawn to this book by its interesting cover and intriguing sounding synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that 'Fans of Matt Haig, Mike Gayle and Camille Pagán will fall in love with this beautiful, feel-good story.' I am a fan of Matt Haig so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a prologue, 23 chapters and 16 "extracts". The chapters are medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in France 🇫🇷 and England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, UK 🇬🇧. The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture.

 This book is written in first person perspective and the main protagonists are Carrie and Pearl. The benefits of books written in first person perspective are as long as they are well written it makes you feel that you are being spoken to by the protagonist and it can create more of a bond between yourselves and them. If there are several protagonists you also get to see more of what is going on.  

What an absolutely gorgeous yet heartbreaking coming-of-age story. Well done Beth this may be the first book I've read of yours but it most definitely won't be the last. 

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful with descriptions that really put you in the storyline leaving you tasting French croissants and feeling the French air. The cover and synopsis suit the book perfectly. 

The storyline is just beautiful!! It is a coming-of-age story and is absolutely filled with love, secrets, family, lies, friendship, heartbreak and so, so much more. Each page leaves you wanting more and I couldn't sleep until I had finished it late last night. It is obvious that Beth did her research on places in France and that fact shines through. One of my bugs about books is when an author sets their book in a place or about certain subjects yet doesn't put any research in and it is obvious and can spoil the storyline. This book is filled with family dynamics and it really makes you contemplate what you would have done if you were in each of the characters shoes. If you are going to read this keep some tissues ready and clear your diary as not only will you be unable to put it down but it will leave you in tears. I can't talk too much about the storyline as I don't want to give anything away but there isn't just one plot going on but so many different things happening which are all tied up beautifully at the end. This book is a truly emotional page turner. The atmosphere of France was absolutely perfect especially Paris, being the city of romance and I enjoyed my holiday there without leaving my seat. I was absolutely devastated coming to the end realising I would have to "unpack my bags" and return to drizzle Wales. 

The characters were all strong and realistic and each one had their own unique personality. I enjoyed getting to know not only Pearl and Carrie but also Francis through his memoirs. I was absolutely intrigued by the diary entries and it slowly gave us a clear insight into what was going on in Francis' life. I adored Benjy who made me laugh several times and actually reminded me of my own brother. Gregg is the typical older protective big brother who I thought was quite sweet and I absolutely adores his wife Eleanor who was extremely supportive. I could not stand Jeanie and wasn't a fan of Andrea (An-Dray-ah) but did have some sympathy towards her by the end. Coming back to Pearl and Carrie though, I really connected with them both and found them to be very strong female leads, each suffering with their own dilemmas, pasts and tragedies and there were several points I wish I had been physically there to hug them both. Oh, I cannot forget Denby or 'the ranger' (I won't name him as I don't want to spoil anything again). I thought Denby was really sweet and although, at times, overbearing I genuinely think that he was just worried about Pearl and cared for her so much he couldn't bear seeing anything happen to her. I really 3njiyed meeting 'the ranger' and I would love to see what went on after the end with him and the other person, he was a gruff man but also struggled with his past and I hope it all went well for him. Overall, a great mix of characters who worked perfectly with the storyline. 

Another HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Beth on an absolutely gorgeous book and here's to many more successes 🥂 I am off to add all your books to my Amazon wishlist and I would like to welcome you to my favourite author club ♥ 

 
Overall a heartbreaking yet heartwarming page turner about family, love, friendships, growing up and what ifs? 



Genres covered in this book include Coming-Of-Age story and Humorous Fiction amongst others. 


I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Matt Haig, Mike Gayle, Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Camille Pagán. 
 

338 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 5 /5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

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I'm not crying,you're crying! Aw what a beauty. When a book can make you laugh and tear up in equal measure you're onto a cracker. Worth your time for sure!
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The woman who came back to life is a poignant read about love, loss, estrangement,family dynamics and second chances!
Pearl hadn’t spoken to or seen her father for thirty years but on getting told of his death by her elder brother she rushes from her woodland hideaway in France to get to his bedside but it too late to see him alive!
The funeral unleashed a surprising bequest for Pearl causing angst amongst his second family, Francis her father had bequeathed her his journals which revealed that he had been fully informed of Pearls life and his writings offered an explanation of his abscence and his actions led Pearl to a much needed reunion!
A family breakdown three siblings all affected differently and coping in varying ways, teenage pregnancy, still birth, panic attacks, breakdowns, death and illness all feature heavily but the overall feeling is one of hope,resilience,forgiveness and having a second chance.
Thank you netgalley for this early read.
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This book is my first read of 2022 and I’m glad that i pick this one. The book is the very well written and an heart warming story. I liked the characters special the main character Pearl, the family drama and the emotions the book had. Some parts of the book left me with tears in my eyes. 

A big shoutout to the author Beth Miller for such an amazing read.

Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and the author for this ARC
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Families can be strange things and often when upsets occur, everyone has their own feelings on who is right, and who is in the wrong, that ricochet through the generations. Pearl is about to discover that even when it’s too late to talk in person, and even after decades of hurt, things can change, if you are open to those changes.
 
The raw emotions that Pearl experiences as she relives past traumas through her late father’s diaries, felt very real as I read it. It took bravery to open these old wounds, but with it came a different understanding of the hurt and pain she’d carried with her for her adult life. 
 
This is a book that is packed full of difficult family situations, for so many of the characters, from divorce, loss and adoption, to forgiveness, reconciliation and love. My emotions were all over the place. With the sadness and upsetting situations, this wasn’t a book that raised my spirits, but it was one that made me think about relationships and how we treat those around us. It is also a cleverly crafted journey of recovery, where understanding and forgiveness lead the characters on to new beginnings. 
 
Like Pearl, I’m happy to shut myself away in my French hideaway, but this book has highlighted the importance of extended family and the sad fact that since Covid-19, we’ve missed out on seeing our families in the UK. I found it a complex and compelling read, and once I’d started it, I had to know how it would end. It was also one of those unusual books where I couldn’t second guess where it was going to take me, and it was certainly different from many of the books I usually read.
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