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An eloquent, moving, warm and witty exploration of modern life, with the focus on friendship and family it’s just gorgeous.
Modern life, the real and vibrantly emotional side of modern life, is on show in this truly lovely and big-hearted novel that I simply adored. A small London community sits centre stage as the residents move about their business and inside and out of each others homes. While the focus remains on Juliet, Liam and their son Charlie, this is a wider look at navigating family and friendships. Everyone is Still Alive is bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink's first novel, and what an eloquently beautiful read it is. The setting is a relatively affluent suburban street that welcomes you in and feels like home. With huge compassion, themes concentrate on the more difficult side of life in our modern world, including grief, anxiety, and envy. I also walked with humour, encouragement and affection, and balanced that exquisite tightrope of emotions that people experience each day. This wonderful novel feels like a celebration, a hand held out in support and in love, and I just had to choose it as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month. Powerful yet gently soothing, Everyone is Still Alive is a novel that gives a warm embrace as it slips into emotions and makes them sing.
It is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother's house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she can't imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them. But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors - all of which are going straight into his new novel . . .
Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends ripples through the group, painful home truths are brought to light. And then, one sun-drenched afternoon at a party, a single moment changes everything.
The fiction debut from Sunday Times bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink, Everyone Is Still Alive is funny and moving, intimate and wise; a novel that explores the deeper realities of marriage and parenthood and the way life thwarts our expectations at every turn.
|Publication date:||8th July 2021|
|Publisher:||Orion Books Ltd an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Collections:||40+ Novels with French Connections - Fiction You Should Read This Summer for More than a Touch of Thierry’s Va Va Voom.,|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
A total triumph: compelling, compassionate, insightful, funny and moving - Nina Stibbe
Incredibly tender and astonishingly insightful. I cared so deeply for the characters and read in genuine awe. An utter gem - Marian Keyes
Touching, tender and profound in its warmth and stillness - a novel that explores family, friendship, grief and love in true, tactile detail. Beautiful and very real - Daisy Buchanan
A novel of radical empathy and kindness, written with poignancy, wit and immaculate observation. There is something wholeheartedly decent and human about Rentzenbrink's writing, which has a lingering, gentle power. I can't stop thinking about it - Elizabeth Day
Sharply observed and utterly compelling, Everyone Is Still Alive had me cackling on one page and crying the next; Cathy Rentzenbrink's warmth and wisdom are evident in every line - Paula Hawkins
Unputdownable - brilliant, beautiful, moving and so funny and well-observed. If you want to know what Happily Ever After looks like, read this - Philippa Perry
A soothing, tender story with loveable characters who pull you in from the very first pages. In a world of chaos, reading this novel was a reminder to slow down, zoom in and look around - Emma Gannon
An anti-romantic comedy of Lego and disenchantment, shot through with clear-eyed compassion . . . I devoured it - Patrick Gale
I love this book. Funny, wise and clever and full of honesty and kindness. It's a page-turner that makes you look at yourself and your relationships anew. A unique and generous novel about love, loss and friendship - Kit de Waal, author of My Name Is Leon
A wonderful novel . . . I loved it. Gorgeous and tender, fabulous at capturing time, place and atmosphere. An utter treat - Kate Mosse
Such a beautiful, delicate book - Jenny Colgan
Everyone Is Still Alive is a novel filled with quiet compassion about quotidian lives. Cathy writes with incredible insight about marriage, friendship and parenthood, in a book replete with hope. I absolutely loved it - Hannah Beckerman
Very funny but also sharp and poignant . . . I thoroughly enjoyed it - Adele Geras
A beautifully written and exquisitely rendered novel about family and the anxiety of the modern world. Like life, it's both heartbreakingly sad and terribly funny. I devoured it - Wyl Menmuir, author of The Many
Readers will know Rentzenbrink from her moving memoirs The Last Act of Love and A Manual For Heartache. This is her first novel and it sounds equally poignant, warm and wise - Good Housekeeping, Books We're Most Looking Forward To in 2021
Kind and real, funny and touching. I raced through it - Bookbrunch
Every generation needs its own novels examining how marriage, children, dreams and ambitions can coexist. This one does it beautifully, with warmth, truth, humour and love -- Louisa Young
Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London. An ex-bookseller, she is now Project Director of the charity Quick Reads and Books Editor of the Bookseller magazine.More About Cathy Rentzenbrink