Love & Loss in the Time of Covid

by Phil Dourado

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Love & Loss in the Time of Covid

An honest, vulnerable and relatable tale.

Overwhelmed by grief, Matthew takes to his bed until he is able to see a way to deal with the loss he’s experienced. Semi-autobiographical, ‘Love & Loss in the Time of Covid’ by Phil Dourado tells the story of a man who has lost his wife, brother and best friend all within a short space of time. Set in a time where the whole world seems to be grieving, whether it’s for the loss of a loved one or for the loss of normality as the COVID-19 pandemic hits, we see one man working through his emotions, one book at a time.

With references to, and a title inspired by ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, Dourado’s book explores in detail the multi-faced thing which is love as well as the many different forms that loss and grief can take. Although sad in places, there is a sense of hope running throughout the book, as Matthew confines himself to his bed until he has read every related book he can find on grief and many more besides, an act in itself that implies determination to make some form of progress or find a solution. 

‘Love & Loss in the Time of Covid’ is an honest, vulnerable and relatable tale. One that I think will resonate with a lot of people, because of lives changed by the pandemic or the loss of a loved one for any reason. A story of reflection, grief and ultimately hope, I think.

Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

LoveReading Ambassador

Love & Loss in the Time of Covid Synopsis

A story of our time Phil Dourado lost his wife, his brother and his best friend within weeks of each other. He then lost his grandchildren to the other side of the world and his father to dementia and confinement in a locked-down care home. The people he loved seemed to be disappearing one by one. Then thousands began dying from Covid, while everyone - even those who hadn't lost a loved one - grieved the loss of normal life and connection in a locked down world. The last thing his best friend said to him before dying was, ‘It’s a love story, a tale of love and loss. Like Love in the Time of Cholera. You should write about it.’ So, he did. Love & Loss in the Time of Covid: a novel, a grief memoir and a Covid chronicle You lose your spouse, your only sibling and your best friend, all shuffling off within weeks of each other. You’re reeling, unhinged by grief. And then the world is engulfed by Covid. What do you do? The only answer Matthew can come up with is to take to his bed and refuse to leave until he has made sense of the loss. Under the duvet, he decides, is the one place he can work out a way forward in a world that no longer makes sense. He is not alone under there. His bed is crowded with old companions, jostling to help him construct a plan and tunnel his way out: books he has loved that he now revisits in a search for meaning. Some of these well-loved old friends, he is convinced, contain the clues and insights that his grief-addled brain craves to make meaning out of loss. As he finishes each book, he tosses it out onto the floor and moves to the next one. He plans to make stepping stones out of them, a route back to real life. It’s slow going, this quest for an escape route back from a kind of madness to a normal life. Especially when the normal life he had - and the normal world that we all lived in - no longer exists. Until his lost friend returns and sets him a mission: ‘Write your way out of grief …’

About This Edition

ISBN: 9798456050229
Publication date: 14th August 2021
Author: Phil Dourado
Publisher: Independently published
Format: Paperback
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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Love & Loss in the Time of Covid 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.

Overall, it was a different read, but emotional and funny too.

This book is based on the author’s real life experiences, recently a number of people close to him have died within a short space of time. The protagonist, Matthew is dealing with these events in the best way he can by staying in bed, however he is spending a lot of time reading so he talks about many of the anecdotes from what he is reading to try and help him navigate his situation.

I enjoyed the variety of this book; it was made up of information about what he was reading and thinking about as well as conversations and situations he has encountered with his family. Although it was deeply personal and sad, there were some very funny moments too which made me laugh out loud. 

You feel the author trying to make sense of what is happening to him, along with what is happening in the world with Covid, it explores the difficulty of visiting relatives in care homes as well the mask wearing, so feels very relatable to our current time (although the title gives this away!)

Overall, it was a different read, but emotional and funny too.

Nicola Edwards

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9798456050229
Publication date: 14/08/2021
Format: Paperback

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