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Reader Reviewed
The Goodbye Gift by Amanda Brooke

The Goodbye Gift

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Early on we meet Lucy, twenty-four, who needs a heart transplant. She is a plucky girl trying to live a normal life greatly hampered by her sad ill health. For eighteen months she has been on the transplant list. Preparing to go on her first holiday ever with just her sister her family watch the television News and a report on a train crash which eventually turns into a motorway crash. Among the victims are three close women friends, all badly injured. We swing back four months and get to know these three, their reliance on each other and their reason for being in that crash. Interspersed with their lives is their post-accident hospital treatment where surely one will die for Lucy to get her heart. Which one is where the suspense is ratcheted up throughout the latter half of the book where huge revelations occur which threaten to destroy the women’s friendships. This is a tale exploring many strong issues; fertility, loyalty, betrayal, responsibility, young motherhood, divorce, independence, dementia and much more. Pretty powerful stuff and excellent for reading groups.

If you like Amanda Brooke you might also like to read books by Elizabeth Noble, Gavin Extence and Audrey Niffenegger.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'I challenge anyone to read this book and not be moved by it. I know that this book will stay with me for a long time!'

  • Celia Cohen - 'A very readable book about the friendship between women.'

  • Helen Appleby - 'This was an enchanting novel and so hard to put down I read it in almost one sitting. It covers many emotions as it tells the story of three best friends, one tragic accident and one heart.'

  • Sarah Webb - 'One for your suitcase.'

  • Sophia Ufton - 'What a beautiful story. It was amazingly written had me in tears of sorrow and joy…'   
  • Annie Day - 'A tale of friendship, love and sacrifice that keeps you guessing until the very end.'
  • Nicola Edwards - 'Compelling and emotional, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!'
  • Jane Brown - 'Tragedy, friendship - this author packs a punch. A great story with an incredible twist.'
  • Emily Wright - 'Surprisingly uplifting, this celebration of friendship and new life left me with a tear in my eye and hope in my heart.'
  • Helen Claire - 'This book is all about friendship and love between friends and family.'
  • Emma Caddick - 'A great story about the complexities of adult friendships and a reminder to never take those you love for granted.'
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'A good pick for a holiday read...A believable storyline with individual stories within.  Secrets, lies and unexpected turns made this a good read.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Excellent story of friends and the trials that they go through together.'
  • Joanne Dibb - 'Reading The Goodbye Gift has reminded me what a brilliant and totally absorbing writer Amanda Brooke is, this is a story that will touch your heart and stay with you for a long time.'
  • Suzanne Beney - 'An interesting read about everyday lives that are all brought together with one common life-changing theme.'
  • Sharon Wood - 'I'd recommend for teenage readers and as a holiday read.' 
  • Genevieve McAllister - 'A readable tale of three friends and their modern issues.  Accessible and emotional - perfect for reading in one hit.'
  • Suzanne - 'The Goodbye Gift is a beautiful emotional story about friendship, love, betrayal and loss.'
  • Clare Turner - 'An intelligent and absorbing novel about friendship and life with all its problems. Great holiday reading!'
  • Humaira - 'The Goodbye Gift tore out my heart- there is no way about it. It's so heartfelt and heart-wrenching.' 
  • Steph Blakey - 'This was a mesmerising story with a unique theme. I enjoyed it so much that I raced through to the end.'


The Goodbye Gift by Amanda Brooke

Three best friends. One tragic accident. One heart. Lucy Cunliffe is waiting for a heart. Just twenty-four, she's spent most of her life going in and out of hospital and after numerous operations, there's nothing more the doctors can do, other than wait for the right donor. The day she gets the call is a day of joy and sorrow. Because for Lucy to get a new heart, someone else doesn't need it any longer...Julia, Helen and Phoebe are bound by long-standing friendship and mutual support, but each faces her own demons and a tragic accident is about to impact on their lives in a way they couldn't have foreseen. As the bonds of friendship are tested, we know one thing: Lucy will get her heart. The question is, who will give the gift of life?


'[A] touching sensitive story ... an extraordinary, moving tale'
The Bookseller

'Enchanting, moving and hard to put down'

'Life affirming'
Sunday Mirror

'A haunting and heartbreaking story that stayed with me long after I'd finished'
Fern Britton

Katie Fforde

'An extraordinary debut novel'
Daily Express

About the Author

Amanda Brooke

Amanda Brooke lives in Liverpool with her daughter, Jessica, two cats and a laptop within easy reach. Her debut novel, Yesterday’s Sun, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick.

Author photo © Mark McNulty

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Book Info

Publication date

11th August 2016


Amanda Brooke

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Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


432 pages


Relationship Stories
Reading Groups
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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