The Things That Matter
by Andrea Michael
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 14 May 2021 | Archive Date 27 Aug 2021
HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, One More Chapter
Natasha and Daniel were meant for each other. On paper you’d never think it so; whilst Taz would arrive at school hungry and in clothes too small, Dan’s affluent background was no secret. But they were drawn together and found comfort in the fact that neither felt they truly belonged.
When something terrible happens and Dan is sent to prison, Taz doesn’t even pause to think before standing by his side. As the ground beneath Dan crumbles, it’s Taz who is there to catch him. A family of two, it’s them against the world.
But now, years later, what happens when the threats they face come from within? Plagued by guilt over a secret in her past, Taz must face the truth or risk losing Dan forever.Readers can’t get enough of The Things That Matter:
‘A beautifully written story…one of the best books I have read this year’ Muriel
‘A highly original read…so much character and warmth’ Sarah
‘Life affirming…it made me laugh, it made me cry’ Helen
‘A wonderful book with a heartfelt message we could all use these days!’ Laurie
‘Incredibly well written and thought provoking’ Jenny
‘Wow! What a fun, emotional journey this book took me on…made me cry and laugh out loud’ Wendy
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 55 members
The Things That Matter by Andrea Michael Five Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow! What a fun, emotional journey this book took me on. I rarely can find a book that is equal parts fun, and emotional. This book took me to a rural Scottish farm set in the Highlands, complete with horses, pigs, chickens, two alpacas named Hermione and Neville and a grumpy Shetland pony. Publishers Blurb: A beautifully moving and poignant tale of finding yourself in the wake of heartbreak, perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse and Susan Lewis Natasha and Daniel were meant for each other. On paper you’d never think it so; whilst Taz would arrive at school hungry and in clothes too small, Dan’s affluent background was no secret. But they were drawn together and found comfort in the fact that neither felt they truly belonged. When something terrible happens and Dan is sent to prison, Taz doesn’t even pause to think before standing by his side. As the ground beneath Dan crumbles, it’s Taz who is there to catch him. A family of two, it’s them against the world. But now, years later, what happens when the threats they face come from within? Plagued by guilt over a secret in her past, Taz must face the truth or risk losing Dan forever. My Take: I have never read anything by this author, so I was so pleasantly surprised by this book, and I’ve found a NEW AUTHOR with a writing style that I love. This book deals with childhood trama, the trama of miscarriage, Alzheimer’s disease and family interactions and how they shape a child into adulthood. This marriage-in-crisis story is full of emotional drama, but also humor and lightheartedness. The main characters are interesting, good people who have been through so much in their young lives, and yet when they start to have the things in life they thought they wanted, their lives start to fall apart. I liked the way the author weaved the characters emotional journey into a story full of quirky characters, an idyllic Scottish farm, where even the animals have their own eccentric personalities. I got into this book right away, the pacing is excellent and it took me through the story from start to finish. This book made me cry, and laugh out loud, and to me that is the type of book I enjoy the most. About the author: Andrea Michael writes books to explore complicated relationships. Having trained in using writing for therapy, she really believes in the magic of stories to change your life. Failing that, sparkling wine and obnoxious sing-a-longs also do the trick. Andrea works in content marketing, and runs Writing for Wellbeing workshops. She lives in Hertfordshire with her fiancé and their crazy cat, and can be found reading in a comfy corner or digging something at the allotment. Recommendation: I highly recommend this book. This review is based on NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.
Taz and Dan come from totally different backgrounds but were drawn together as teens and have stood the test of time. Issues from her past including poverty and abandonment have left Taz with issues. Despite Dan being her rock, the death of a child forces Taz to face her demons from the past. She is such a strong character and this presents itself when she travels to Scotland in search of answers. Great characters and very well written.
The things that matter by Andrea Michael an emotion wringing five-star read. This was my first read by this author, but it won’t be the last, the emotions that pull you into this story are so well done. I don’t want to tell you the story as it unfolds beautifully and I loved that I went into it, without knowing anything about it, it made it such a strong read for me. The characters in this story are thought out and just people you would love to hear more about. Follow Taz on her journey and most likely find something about yourself as well.
The Things That Matter is a beautifully crafted story about a couple, together since the teen years. The glue that has held them together, is a combination of love, need, and a shared history. Taz and Dan are two people from entirely different backgrounds, yet fate set them on a life journey together. She comes from the local estate, living with her alcoholic father, and abandoned by her own mother. He hails from a wealthy family, with the world at his feet. One event changes both their lives. This book sends you through all sorts of emotions. I really felt for Taz. She never shook the trauma of childhood poverty from her life, even though she has everything she needs, materially. Then to experience a loss, as harsh as that of losing a child? Well, my heart went out to her. The sense of abandonment appears in several forms, from when Taz's mother disappears, to when Dan's parents disown him, and even when Taz feels the need to get away from the life she is living as a thirty-something woman. Finding herself in the Scottish Highlands, to visit that mother who had left her, Taz discovers so much about herself, from a whole new family to her own inner strength. The fact that she could even contemplate cutting strings from the one anchor she'd relied upon, for most of her life - Dan - shows her strength. I have to say I loved Kit, Taz's aunt. She is a character and a half, filled with crooked wisdom, that actually makes total sense. I truly enjoyed this read. Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins Uk and One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
👥Taz & Dan: emotional, life at a crossroads, sublime🌄 I will admit that the thing that first appealed to me about this story was that it was partially set in the Scottish Highlands since I am a big fan of them thar hills😊. But then Taz with her numbing grief and uncertainty about the state of her marriage to teenage sweetheart Dan caught me and I was a goner! Their "opposite side of the tracks" romance seemed challenged from the start and Dan's desire to regain his parents' approbation is a set-up rife with possibilities for dissension and discord. The supporting characters, particularly Taz's Aunt Kit and the community of friends in Scotland, were just a perfect number: not too numerous and all with brief portraits that added a warmth to Taz's tale but never really hijacked attention away from the core story. The mystery of the mother who left when she was a young girl and then resurfaces added an interesting twist even if Mom is a bewildering figure and hardly the model parent or sister. I was in no way certain how the couple's story would end but, I must say, the climax was the best part of the book and I almost shed a tear. For me, the most enjoyable novels are ones that get me emotionally committed to the characters' fate. The Things That Matter did that for me and it was a true pleasure to read. Thanks to Harper Collins UK/One More Chapter and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
What an emotional read! This story has all the feels - I laughed and cried along with Taz on her journey. It covers so many traumatic aspects of her life but is ultimately so uplifting. It’s message is so very clear and the characters so engaging. A wonderful read.
This is a beautifully written story that pulls you through so many emotions. Taz had to grow up quick when her mother walked out and didn’t keep in contact. Dan came from a different background where his parents had his future mapped out. The story of how their love survived tragedy and how Taz found the missing pieces of her childhood is beautifully written This is one of the best books I have read this year and yes I would recommend it
Thanks to #NetGalley the publisher Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter and the author #AndreaMichael for providing me with a digital ARC #thethingsthatmatter in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. This book is so well written and I did not want to put it down. This is the first book by #AndreaMichael that I have read and I look forward to reading more by this author – I never cry when reading books but this book made me cry and also laugh out loud. The story of Taz and Dan has everything love, hate, jealousy, guilt and grief. This book comes highly recommended.
Young love changed by a tragic event, clinging together and growing up together. Another tragic event threatens to split them this time instead of uniting them. Sounds dark and disturbing but it's life affirming and humouress. Follow the journey of discovery. It made me laugh, it made me cry but I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
This book is the story of Natasha and Dan.......young sweethearts who after a number of years together find married life tough. Natasha craves family, after growing up in a dysfunctional one. Her journey takes her to the Scottish highlands where she finds out what really matters in her life. I found the book incredibly well written and thought provoking. At the end of the day we all want to find the things in life that matter. I would recommend this book. #thethingsthatmatter #family #life #dreams # emotive # thoughtprovoking #harpercollins #andreamichael #onemorechapter
The Things That Matter by Andrea Michael. provides the ideal balance of finding second chances, giving forgiveness, personal growth, and providing hope. Taz is a true survivor of a horrific childhood and yet she manages to pull her life together despite overwhelming obstacles. Much is due to Dan, a survivor of a childhood full of all things material with no love to spare. Dan and Taz find their way to each other and despite their brokenness begin to find healing. Unfortunately, not all is easy for these two. Multiple unspeakable tragedies and challenges occur that lead Dan and Taz to be separated against their will, Taz ends up in a vastly new geographic location and the growth that occurs for her is a testament to the resiliency of her amazing spirit. The redemptive journey will take you on an emotional high and unexpected lows. Be prepared to carve out some time, this is a book you will finish in one day and then think about long after, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this book has lovable characters, including animals and especially Aunt Kit who help lighten the tone. You will absolutely love this book and will find strength from their example to never stop hoping for a brighter future. Michael provided the perfect blend to keep the reader entertained and characters that will not be soon forgotten. I was provided a free advance reader copy from Harper Collins UK, One a more Chapter in exchange for my honest review on Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are my own.
My thanks to #Netgalley and #HarperCollinspublishers for allowing me to review this book. I absolutely loved it. A light feel good read with a happy ending. It has just enough to make you think of consequences, self guilt and sacrifice, but tempered with a touch of humour. Highly recommended.
I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting book full of different situations life sometimes throws at us, which made it really relatable. There were characters that found infuriating (Dan's mum and Taz's mum), they were just so selfish. There were also characters that I loved, I think Kit, Taz and Sarah were my favourites. Part way through the book I got really choked up when Sarah told the story of the bird, I just wasn't expecting it. I'm glad Taz went up to Scotland because things were put into perspective for her. Dan and Taz go through so much together all the way through you're hoping they stay together and live life for themselves and noone else. Heartbreaking and Heartwarming in equal measure. Loved it.
'The Things That Matter' is a moving and poignant story about heartbreak, family dynamics, how the nature of your childhood leaves a lasting impact upon how you live your life, and trying to move on after loss. The romance between Taz and Dan is tender yet raw, beautiful and thought provoking. Andrea Michael doesn't shy away from writing about the things that matter to so many of us and she does so with emotion, realism and panache. A 5 star read!!!
The Things That Matter is a beautiful and emotive read, that really captures the reader's heart and soul and has them fully invested in the journey the characters in it go on,
The emotional life journey of Taz and Dan. So different from each other as children but so there for each other. Lots of emotions in this story. Loved the characters and their life together. Not easy, but worth it.
This was a great read. So different and very gripping. I really enjoyed the way it was written. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Thank you to Netgalley, One More Chapter, and Andrea Michael for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely LOVED this book! I actually hadn’t planned on reading it as the cover is not one that draws me in, but I was very happy to be asked to read a copy! What a great story! This story centres around love and figuring out those things in life that matter the most, and it has a big focus on financial disparities and how people who have less money and therefore live a different lifestyle are viewed as “less than” by those who have more. I really enjoyed watching Taz’s journey and witnessing all of the joy, lessons, and discomfort she experienced in leading to the eventual fate of her life and her story. Following along with her really enables the reader to mistrust other characters we meet, and gives a feeling of uncertainty when new people or events are involved. The author writes in such a way that the reader is truly brought into the story, and it feels as though you are right there with Taz and David and the rest of the quirky cast. Can not wait to read this one again as I can see it being a multiple reread story ❤️
First and foremost I must say, "Thank you" to this author and publisher for providing this lovely new gem as I was seeking a new read for my 48th birthday and this was just what the doctor ordered. It reminded me to count my blessings. To live in the moment. To never forget where you came from and to cherish where you're going. Memories are a reminder that we can be forged through ash to come out better not bitter. The Things That Matter was so eloquently written that every minute emotion leaped off the page into your arms. Your heart and soul was flooded with this realization between Dan and Taz. Dan was facing a prison sentence but we never really understood why until the news broke. Literally and figuratively with a new article. It was at that moment that my jaw dropped. I then knew what he did and perhaps more importantly why. It appears that there's much more to this story that is an underlying theme centering around childhood abuse, trauma, alcoholism, neglect, and poverty which left Taz feeling as if she was abandoned and ignored. This story was truly a tear jerker so make sure you have the Kleenex ready and prepare for its use. Thank you to Andrea, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.