‘Celebrating Sheila’s 30th book in 20 years of bestsellers’
– What Eden Did Next
[ About the Book ]
Five years after the death of her firefighter husband, Eden knows better than anyone that life can change in an instant. Now, instead of the future she had planned with Andy, she has Lila – the daughter he never got the chance to meet. And instead of Andy, she has his family.
Then Eden meets someone. Someone she knew before Andy, before Lila, before the tragedy. Someone who reminds her of how she used to be. But Andy’s mother has other plans. And Eden is facing an impossible choice. One that could tear a family apart . . .
Honest and emotionally gripping, What Eden Did Next is an irresistible, sometimes heart-breaking, ultimately joyful, novel of love, loss – and finding your own way to happiness.
[ My Review ]
What Eden Did Next is the latest novel from Sheila O’ Flanagan and will be published April 28th with Headline Review. Described as ‘heart-breaking, life-affirming and unforgettable’, What Eden Did Next is the 30th book from this much-loved writer, whose novels are available in over 20 languages with over 9 million copies sold worldwide.
Eden was widowed as a very young woman, following the sudden death of her husband Andy in a freak fire-fighting incident. In the very early stages of her pregnancy Eden had planned on surprising Andy with the news but tragedy struck before she ever got the chance. At the time of the accident Eden was an A & E nurse and was on duty when Andy was brought in. He died soon after, leaving Eden traumatised. Her grief spiralled and, following the birth of her little girl, Lila, Eden suffered post-natal depression and was unable to cope. The one staple in her life was Andy’s mother, Valerie and the rest of the Farrelly family. They nurtured and cared for her, helping her to cope with her loss and, in time, Eden moved back to her marital home with Lila, carving a new life for the two of them. Over the years Eden had become quite reliant on Valerie, always mindful that they too had lost Andy, a precious son and brother. Valerie doted on Lila, always bringing Andy’s name into the conversation, always reminding everyone of Andy stories and anecdotes. The Farrellys were an extremely close-knit family, something that Eden had not experienced too much of herself and she was only too happy to be wrapped up in their comforting arms. Looking after Lila had its stresses but she knew Valerie and the family had her back.
No longer an A & E nurse, due to the schedule and the hours required, Eden now worked for an agency as a carer. This new role offered her flexibility to look after Lila but it was also a job that she genuinely enjoyed. Eden was reserved but was good with people and her clients appreciated her loyalty. Elizabeth was one such client who had been the victim of a mugging. Now, in rehabilitation in her home, Eden calls daily, spending longer with her than clients would normally require due the nature of her injuries. Elizabeth is frustrated by her inability to cope alone but to keep herself busy, she sits by the window, watching the comings and goings of her neighbours. The estate she lives in is a tightly knit community with an active WhatsApp group and a very, shall we call it, over-confident chairperson who no-one can refuse.
A new neighbour triggers the radar of the local group while Elizabeth curiously observes from her perch. Eden, unwittingly, becomes sucked into the goings-on and a coincidental meet-up has her reconsidering her options in life, leading her to some very unexpected conclusions.
Eden is a wonderfully warm and caring individual who has been through a lot in her years. Andy was ‘The One’ for her, the love of her life and his cruel death destroyed her confidence. She always swore forever to Andy and never expected that a different path could possibly be her future. Very much loyal to his memory and to what they had, these sudden new, and very much unforeseen, feelings throw Eden into a spin. Eden’s character was inspired by Sheila O’ Flanagan’s interpretation of how these recent years have affected us all.
“More than ever we’ve come to realise the importance of the people closest to us, especially when we can’t be with them. Part of Eden’s story deals with her mourning the life she should have had. I think many of us have felt that way over the past years as we’ve seen milestones go by without the customary celebrations, as reminders of cancelled events popped up in our timelines, as we were forced over and over again to isolate ourselves from the people we love.” – Sheila O’ Flanagan
What Eden Did Next is a feel-good novel full of heart. With a lovely mix of characters, Sheila O’ Flanagan has created a charming tale that radiates goodness. The family dynamic is a central theme to this book with grief and longing, love and hope, happiness and regret all playing their part. As a reader you are left with a smile on your face and a feeling that, perhaps, anything is truly possible. Uplifting is a very apt description for What Eden Did Next with the inspiring and kind-hearted Eden taking centre stage. The perfect read for anyone looking for a little escapism and a heart-warming internal glow-up!
[ Bio ]
Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of nearly 30 bestselling novels including Three Weddings and a Proposal, The Women Who Ran Away, Her Husband’s Mistake, The Hideawayand The Missing Wife.
She lives in Dublin with her husband.
Website ~ http://www.sheilaoflanagan.com
Twitter ~ @sheilaoflanagan
Oooh I like her books. This sounds good!
Joanne it’s a lovely sweet story. A cosy read!
This sounds like a good story, Mairéad. Great review. I will be watching for this one.