This year has to be the best year for debuts, am I right?! Seriously, they’re popping up left, right and centre. When I saw the cover for My Everything I was hooked and reading the blurb had me hooked even more! I ordered my copy and as soon as it dropped through the letterbox I dropped everything and started to read!
My Everything tells the story of Hannah and Tom. Hannah is sick of her husband Tom working late, treating her badly and is ready to leave him. She’s already packed her bags and got herself ready to move into her best friend’s spare room. However on the night she’s ready to tell him, she comes home to find Tom already asleep. Deciding to tell him in the morning, she gets into bed next to him. In the early hours of the morning Hannah is woken by a scratching sound and upon finding Tom on the bedroom floor unable to move or speak, her world is suddenly turned upside down.
Tom has suffered a stroke and Hannah’s plan to leave her relationship gets put on hold.
Hannah selflessly decides that as Tom is her husband she has a responsibility to look after him during his rehabilitation. As the months drift by, Hannah finds her life becomes a cocktail of physiotherapy appointments, wheelchairs and early nights. But as Tom starts to recover, Hannah sees a change in him and the man she wanted to leave starts to become the man she once fell in love with.
Told through dual narrative with Hannah narrating the present and Tom narrating the past we get to see how the couple met and how the relationship developed through a minefield of tricky events that they managed to overcome. This also allows the reader to see how Tom felt about Hannah throughout the relationship and how he begins to realise that perhaps he hasn’t been the best husband he could have been.
My Everything tackles the very tricky subject of strokes. Personally I don’t know much about strokes and rehabilitation but this book provided me with a very easy to understand but comprehensive explanation of a lot of stages of the recovery process. It was really saddening to see a person go from being full of life to suddenly becoming a shell of the person they once were and being unable to do the simple things we all take for granted like walking, holding a cup of water etc. Marsh has done a great job at rousing sympathy from the reader and I spent a lot of time wanting to just make Tom better so he and Hannah could move on in their life but Marsh keeps true to life and doesn’t make everything better in two seconds.
Over the course of the novel we see Tom change drastically and as he becomes more thankful for Hannah’s selflessness, he begins to become selfless himself and it is truly heartwarming to see how his priorities in life change. Marsh ends the novel so perfectly and it has the most satisfying ending that I couldn’t help but punch the air and sit with a wide smile on my face.
I highly recommend this book and for a debut it is stunning. I cannot wait to see what is next from Katie!