If I Could Say Goodbye by Emma Cooper

A heart-warming and uplifting story about love, loss and finding the strength to say goodbye, from the author of The First Time I Saw You.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Cecelia Ahern, If I Could Say Goodbye is sure to ‘break your heart but put it back together again’ (Katie Fforde) 

Jennifer Jones’ life began when her little sister, Kerry, was born. So when her sister dies in a tragic accident, nothing seems to make sense any more.

Despite the support of her husband, Ed, and their wonderful children, Jen can’t comprehend why she is still here, while bright, spirited Kerry is not.

When Jen starts to lose herself in her memories of her sister, she doesn’t realise that the closer she feels to Kerry, the further she gets from her family. 

Jen was never able to say goodbye to her sister. But what if she could? 

Would you risk everything if you had the chance to say goodbye?

Damn you Emma Cooper! First you make me cry my blooming eyes out at the end of If I could Say Goodbye and then you force me to break my book buying ban on Amazon as I just HAD to order The First Time I Saw You and The Songs of Us the minute I put this wonderfully emotional but uplifting book to one side. I couldn’t have picked a better book to curl up with on the sofa during my recent illness and it helped to pick me up and take me far away from my own thoughts as I’m a HORRIBLE PERSON when I’m poorly (I really REALLY hate being ill!!).

To start with I did wonder if I had made a HUGE mistake with this book due to the subject matter. But Emma Cooper has an amazing talent in which she can take a devastating impact on someone’s life and weave a darkly funny, heartwarming and relatable storyline around it. The themes of guilt, love and loss were balanced by family normality and belly laughs caused by Jen and her husband Ed’s bedroom antics (Channing Tatum playing a part in one of the most hilarious episodes! Bet that’s got your attention!). But ultimately it’s the story of how one woman copes with the death of her sister, her guilt surrounding the accident that caused it and how she faces those emotions to try and make sense of them.

I’m probably more than a little in love with Ed myself. I loved how the story was told between Ed’s viewpoint (as he watches helplessly, desperately trying to help Jen but struggling to know what to do for the best) and Jen, through who we also get to know Kerry as she was and how she appears to Jen post-accident. But it was through Ed that we develop the understanding of how everyone is affected by Jens behaviour and it’s a heartbreaking situation.

I can’t believe this is my first read of an Emma Cooper novel but I’m rectifying the fact that she seems to have passed me by previously and now look forward to catching up with the rest of her books. If I Could Say Goodbye is beautifully written book that I absolutely adored from start to finish and I’m just very glad that I had that pile of tissues beside me!

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Her debut, The Songs of Us was snapped up in multiple pre-empts and auctions and is now being translated into seven different languages.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.  

She has three loves in life: reading, writing and her family…oh, and music, cheese, pizza, films – Maths is not one of her talents.

Emma keeps in touch with her readers and loves to hear from them on twitter @ItsEmmacooper and on her website https://emmacooperauthor.wordpress.com/

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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