The Lifeline

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Pub Date 29 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2024

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Two people. One life-changing connection.

‘At times joyful and funny, at others heartbreaking, The Lifeline is an honest yet hopeful exploration of love, loneliness and the power of connection. Captivating, romantic and real – I loved it.’

Holly Miller

‘I'll read anything Tom Ellen writes, but The Lifeline is particularly special. This is a sharp and swoony romcom with deft undercurrents of more serious topics such as grief, remorse, and the important of being truly seen, listened to, and understood by those we love. I loved it.’

Holly Bourne

Will is sleepwalking through life. He works a dead-end job and volunteers at an anonymous crisis line to avoid facing his own problems.

Annie is sure she has her five-year plan all worked out. But when things start falling apart, she just needs someone who will listen…

They’re practically strangers but soon Will and Annie rely on their regular phone calls, challenging each other to be brave and rebuild their lives.

They’ve found connection in the most unlikely of places but is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met?

Two people. One life-changing connection.

‘At times joyful and funny, at others heartbreaking, The Lifeline is an honest yet hopeful exploration of love, loneliness and the...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008336073
PRICE £0.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 118 members

Featured Reviews

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book so much!
The scene is set five years ago with a young journalist and the lead singer of an up-and-coming band meeting at an interview and hitting it off in multiple ways.
Fast forward to the present.
Annie is stuck in a mediocre job for an online website, writing content that is nothing groundbreaking. Then her boss throws her a lifeline, but it means interviewing someone she really doesn't want to.
Will is in a dead-end job, barely existing, and he spends his spare time helping out on an anonymous crisis line. This wasn't the life he dreamed of.
Through twists of fate, Annie and Will end up on the phone, unidentified, and they develop a strong bond despite not knowing anything about one another.
But fate has other ideas...
I was gripped through the whole story and whizzed through it in a day. As a reader, you know what you want to happen, but you have to see the grizzly bits through first until fate finally delivers!
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC.

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Very excited for the Lifeline! Will be sharing a full review and thoughts soon! I love the idea of two people connecting in such an usual way and this novel feels very hopeful and quite special!

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Another great book by Tom Ellen. Annie & Will are both at a low point in their lives, Will works in an electrical shop which is not doing well, Annie writes for a website which is also not doing great. They met 5 years ago but haven't seen each other since. Both are affected by grief when they connect via a crisis helpline , though they are not aware of their identities.
Emotions such as guilt, grief and loneliness form a large part of this book and although that sounds negative, they are dealt with so sensitively and believably that the book gives you solutions for dealing with self destructive behaviour and finding positivity. This isn't a book where everything does an about turn, but where little chinks of light appear to gradually turn things around. I laughed and I cried when reading this book. The characters are well portrayed, not only the main characters, but also others and the relationships between friends and colleagues is so well described that you come to understand how small some social worlds can become and how problems arise within relationships. But there is also positivity because sharing a drink , a cup of tea, a laugh at work can make a difference. The powerful message in this book.
Thanks to Net Galley for a great read

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Gorgeous book! It should be predictable and possibly a little cliche… but it IS NOT. I wanted to dislike Alex but just wanted to look after him. Annie is complex but entirely loveable. I can’t wait to see what the author writes next. Loved, loved LOVED this romance.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in return for a fair and honest review.

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A little gem of a read. I was drawn in to the lives of Will and Annie from the start and found myself rooting for both of them, The story feels so real, dealing as it does with grief, loneliness and relationships. It’s something that we can all relate to on one level or another and portrayed by the author so well. It shows how cathartic it can be to talk to people about your feelings, rather than bottling it all up, Whether it’s with friends, family or a support helpline, like Green Shoots, it doesn’t matter. There’s also humour and love, and a good ending..

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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This is such a wonderful, feel good story which I couldn't put down. Will is in band that Annie has been sent to.interview in Paris. She and Will click, spending the day together and arranging to meet up after the band's gig. Unknown to Annie something drastic has happened and Will stands her up. Furious, she returns to London and in her anger doesn't treat Will kindly in her review.
Fast forward five years and Annie is once again tasked to interview the now disbanded group, but struggles to find any of them. She is unhappy in her job, her father has died and she has issues with her sister and mother because of it. Her life is definitely not where she wants it to be and lives with a partner who she realises is Mr Right now not Mr Right. On the spur of the moment she calls Green Shoots, a helpline,using her middle name. She gels with the callhandler, Will, neither of them realising who the other is. A story that is not only a romance but also the sadness of loneliness and depression that helplines deal with on a daily basis.
Definitely a five star book.

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This book was absolutely wonderful. One of the best books I’ve read in ages! It was funny, heartbreaking and thought provoking and written so beautifully. This was a powerful and well crafted story about trauma, growth, love and friendship with dual POV.

If you’re even considering picking this book up and giving it a try, do it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my opinion.

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An enjoyable read set against a background of love, loss with several different facets along the way. Set in two timelines, present day in London and five years previously in Paris told by two different voices Will and Annie. Written very sensitively and with great character depiction that the reader is taken on a rollercoaster to the depths of despair, loss, hopelessness and loneliness to highs of love, friendships and even some fun. A lot of resolutions which make the reader think a little how other people maybe struggling, especially with grief in a deeper way than a lot of people and how it is good and essential to talk. The Green Shoots Helpline was a stroke of genius to pull the strands together even with the reader knowing the various parties involved.

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Loneliness. Secrets. Trauma. This book manages to be so heartbreaking yet so heartwarming at the same time.

Will volunteers at Green Shoots helpline and touches the lives of many by being someone who will listen. Stuck in the trauma of his past, he is silently crying out for help and needs someone to listen to him.

Annie is in a relationship with Dom who, quite frankly, needs to just exit the scene and never return. She has never quite got over losing her dad and with a partner who doesn't seem to be able to read her, take her seriously or want to spend any time with her, she decides to call Green Shoots after stumbling upon their number.


I won't say anymore. 🤐

Read if you appreciate:
· Indie music references
· Complicated family relationships
· Being brave

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