Love, Laughter, Tears: Review of Lost Without You by Rachael Johns

Love, Laughter, Tears: Review of Lost Without You by Rachael Johns

It’s a special day for Paige MacRitchie. After months and months of work, her debut picture book is finally finished, and now she’s at the launch party surrounded by her family, friends and publishers, all gathered to celebrate the release of the book Paige has poured her heart and soul into.

Chatting and laughing, her beloved partner Solomon by her side, Paige is having the time of her life, but partway through the night, things take a frightening turn. Paige had thought her mother, Rebecca, looked a little off-colour when she arrived at the party, then, during Paige’s speech, Rebecca collapses unexpectedly and is rushed to hospital.

Suddenly struggling with the awful idea of losing her mother, newly-engaged Paige decides she wants to wear Rebecca’s wedding dress for her own big day, but there’s just one problem: Rebecca donated the dress years ago. Tracking it down is a daunting task, but Paige will do anything to ensure she walks down the aisle in her mother’s dress. Finally, she manages to find the current owner, Josie.

A high school teacher in her thirties, Josie has had a rocky few years. After a series of devastating miscarriages, she’s turned to drinking to numb the pain, and although she still loves her husband, she’s beginning to feel like the miscarriages have driven a wedge between them. She needs to get her life back on track, and positive, warm-hearted Paige is just the friend she needs. Josie even begins seeing a grief counsellor, Clara.

Coincidentally, Rebecca is also getting to know Clara. Beyond her work as a volunteer counsellor, Clara is a nurse at the hospital where Rebecca is staying, but although she’s an expert at helping with other people’s problems, Clara is having trouble solving her own – while she’s trying to move on from her failed marriage, her ex-husband just can’t seem to understand that it’s over.

As all four women begin to help each other navigate the ups and downs of life, they feel lucky to have found such wonderful new friends. But fate is quietly weaving their paths together in other ways too, and when the startling, heartbreaking truth finally reveals itself, it will change each woman’s life forever.

Lost Without You is the latest novel from much-loved Australian writer Rachael Johns. With the story told from the alternating perspectives of Paige, Rebecca, Josie and Clara, Johns reels us in, expertly revealing the fascinating and unexpected connections between her characters, and there’s a heartrending twist at the centre of the story that will make you gasp out loud.

As she’s proven with her bestselling rural romances and award-winning women’s fiction, Johns is an absolute pro at crafting engaging, authentic stories about women, and Lost Without You is no exception. The four main characters in this book are so realistically and intimately drawn that it’s impossible not to relate to their experiences. You’ll find yourself sharing in their joys and their struggles, and hoping each woman will find her own happy ending.

Johns tackles issues like infertility, depression and alcohol abuse with a deft hand in this novel, and along with the love and support her characters show each other, it’s these life struggles that give the book its depth and heart. Although the story has moments of sadness, Lost Without You is ultimately a deeply uplifting story about the healing power of making connections and sharing long-kept secrets, the boundless love between mothers and children, and the enduring strength of female friendship.

A perfect poolside read this summer.

About the author:

Rachael Johns, an English teacher by trade and a mum 24/7, is the bestselling ABIA-winning author of The Patterson Girls and a number of other romance and women’s fiction books including The Art of Keeping Secrets and The Greatest Gift. She is currently Australia’s leading writer of contemporary relationship stories around women’s issues, a genre she has coined ‘life-lit’. Rachael lives in the Perth hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training and a very badly-behaved dog. She rarely sleeps and never irons.

Purchase a copy of Lost Without You here 

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                      Synopsis

                      Four women, one dress, and the secret that binds them all... On a special night that is supposed to be a celebration of new beginnings, Paige MacRitchie's joy quickly falls away when her mother collapses during the speeches at her book launch. In the aftermath, and terrified of losing her, Paige decides she wants to make the ultimate tribute to her parents' perfect marriage: she will wear her mother's wedding dress for her own big day.There's just one problem – her mum, Rebecca, no longer has the dress. As Paige tries to track down the elusive gown, she discovers that Rebecca has a long–hidden secret that, if revealed, could blow her whole family apart. Her new friend Josie is at a crossroads too. She met her husband Nick when she was singing in an eighties–themed bar, but now she's lonely, yearning for a family and wondering if Nick understands her at all.And then there's nurse Clara. When she married Rob Jones, an up–and–coming rock star, she thought she was in it forever. But now Clara needs to make a new life for herself and Rob can't seem to understand that it's over.When the fates of these four women intertwine in an unexpected and powerful way, none of their lives will ever be the same again.A fresh and poignant novel of family, journeys, past decisions … and dresses … from the ABIA award–winning, bestselling author Rachael Johns.
                      Rachael Johns
                      About the author

                      Rachael Johns

                      Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. She lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training.At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she LOVED contemporary romance!She is the author of The Kissing Season, Tease Me, Cowboy, Man Drought, JiltedOutback Dreams, Outback Blaze, Outback Ghost, The Next Season (ebook), and The Road to Hope.

                      Books by Rachael Johns

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