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‘While the chambers of a heart were too delicate to mend, it was possible to build walls around them.’

Catherine Miller is a new to us, author and in The Day That Changed Everything, she tells a story of second chances, friendship and self-discovery, about finding hope and happiness after one of the most heartbreaking and painful events changed her life forever.

‘Her husband was never coming back however many wishes she made.
This was goodbye. Andrew, the son. Andy the husband. He was gone.
And Tabitha needed to work out who she was without him.’

Tabitha is happily married to Andrew (Andy) Sanderson, when, on a morning that was just like any other, Tabitha found Andy, 41, had passed in his sleep, forever changing her life and raising questions about their last moments, leading her to experience crippling moments of misplaced guilt.

One of the things Andy and Tabitha desperately craved was to start a family, something which didn’t come to fruition before Andy’s passing. In making a new life for herself, Tabitha moves and commits to taking in foster children to have the family she and Andy were denied.

‘Sometimes goodbyes weren’t hard when it meant leaving a place that had left you broken.’

With wonderful support from her father, the local neighbours Sylvia and Sylvia’s grown son, Lewis, Tabitha is asked to take in 15yo twin girls, Max and Syd – two girls who have been moved around repeatedly through the system. Tabitha makes a promise that these girls will now know their ‘forever home’ with Tabitha.

However, the placement isn’t without its issues. Max and Syd hold a lot of resentment which they aim directly at Tabitha, and despite her welcoming and heartfelt feelings for the girls, it’s a tough road to obtaining their love and trust. Add a newborn baby to foster into the mix, and things are quite hectic for Tabitha.

‘Sometimes the people in the past were in the past for a very good reason.’

We felt the angst and despair Tabitha experienced bringing up two 15 year old twin girls and we knew there must have been a lot of tenderness and love between them to spur Tabitha on to try and provide Max and Syd a forever home, but sadly, we didn’t experience this first hand. We were indeed told these moments existed, but without feeling them, we only felt the angst and discord between the three – really, those sweet and moving moments, just hanging out would have been such a delight. They were missed.

The story is emotionally told from a ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective as we learn the last twenty-four hours of Andy’s life throughout the book, and also why Tabitha is carrying so much guilt.

We loved our first taste of Catherine Miller’s prose, and she certainly knows how to weave a sweet and emotional story with lots of heart. More a story of self-discovery, there is a tiny thread of romance that warmed made our hearts skip a beat.

‘This was a day destined to unravel her world. This was the day that changed everything.’

Synopsis

When you lose the love of your life, how do you find yourself again?

For Tabitha, the day that changed everything started like any other.

She woke up, slid her feet into fluffy slippers, wrapped herself in a dressing gown and tiptoed out of her bedroom, leaving her husband Andy sleeping. Downstairs, she boiled the kettle and enjoyed a cup of tea as the sun rose.

Upstairs, Andy’s alarm sounded, and Tabitha took him a freshly brewed coffee, like every other morning. Except today, the incessant beeping rang out and her husband hadn’t stirred. She called his name, she nudged his shoulder. But Andy wouldn’t wake up.

Three years later Tabitha is trying her hardest to get by in the shadow of her grief. She may have lost the love of her life but she won’t give up on the family they dreamed of. Fostering troublesome teenage girls and a newborn baby is a chance to piece together her broken heart.

But being a mother isn’t easy, and neither is healing the heartache she carries around. After losing everything, could saving these three children help Tabitha save herself too?

This stunning tale will make you laugh and cry in equal measure, hold your loved ones close and see the beauty in the little things in life. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain will love this moving and uplifting story.

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