#bookreview The First Time Lauren Pailing Died by Alyson Rudd published by Harlequinn UK


Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties, and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

Perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a book about loss, grief – and how, despite it not always feeling that way, every ending marks the start of something new.

My reading experience:

Firstly I would like to thank the publishers and Netgalley for my free ARC.

What a deliciously time travelling, sliding doors tale of different lives (and deaths) and how that might cross over in some sort of deja vu type event. The author has used this genre to capture the human essence, the psyche of youth, grief, parenting, relationships and how we grow as we experience life.

The structure was easy to follow set out by character, and with easy prose poignant in places that unravel “looks” and body language with just language.

Lauren Pailing our main protagonist is the time guide. The timeline has one constant – the missing Peter Stanning, and it is this that eventually grips Lauren in a quest to uncover the mystery of her memories. The story has supporting characters each rich with emotion and foibles- not in the least Vera and Bob, Lauren’s parents. Lauren grows up having glimpses of different lives but she does not recall her other lives at first but only has some strange memories which she thinks must be false ones. The story converges after a final death and the incredible notion of living your life in multiple universe is brought to the fore. The author brings the story to an end with elegance and style, I was not disappointed.

I highly recommend this page turner. Lovers of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, A Thousand Paper Birds and How to Stop Time will thoroughly enjoy it.


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