#Review From the Outside by @ClareS_J
From the Outside
by Clare Johnston
When internet millionaire and philanthropist Harry Melville dies in a car crash at the age of forty four, the lives of his wife, Sarah, and twin brother, Ben, are thrown into turmoil.
Harry seemed to have it all; a close-knit family and a happy marriage – along with all the trappings of wealth. Yet as he recalls his past from the afterlife, a story emerges of the unspoken and bitter jealousies between brothers and of an unhappy wife burdened by loneliness and guilt.
When Ben takes over the running of Harry’s charity foundation he begins to find purpose for the first time in years. But the arrival of a talented young artist brings a series of revelations that expose Harry’s complex and dual personality in full. As he learns his part in the suffering of those he left behind, is it too late for Harry to make amends?
A tale of regret and redemption in this world and the next. From the Outside looks at the futile rivalries that can destroy sibling relationships and the lost opportunity for happiness when ego is allowed to reign over emotion.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, or how it would play out but was pleasantly surprised that once I started this I could not put it down.
From the moment the book starts we instantly meet Harry Melville sitting on the embankment at the side of the motorway viewing a crashed car, then we learn he was the driver and he is now dead.
From this moment we are viewing his family – his twin brother Ben and his wife Sarah from the Outside along with Harry following the aftermath of this death and how it impacts everyone.
His twin Ben always seemed to have paled in comparison to his millionaire brother over the years, so when he tasked with taking over The Melville Foundation he feels out of his depth but also rises to the challenge in a way he never thought was possible.
Harry’s wife Sarah we discover had a one night stand before his death and is now pregnant. The only problem is Harry had fertility problems so it becomes clear that the father is the other guy. We get a first hand view from Harry’s inner thoughts looking over Sarah as she comes to terms with what she has done and how she tries to keep it from Ben.
There is so much I want to say about this book but worry I will just recount the book and spoil things. Clare Johnston has weaved a tale that is real, thought provoking and though it is a slow read it also a very emotional read it is filled with a sense of loss and of how the people left behind cope when a loved one is gone, and for me it was one great read!
Clare Johnston is a journalist and content specialist, and a frequent contributor on radio and TV, having appeared on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, The Kaye Adams Programme and comedy satire show Breaking the News on BBC Radio Scotland, along with STV2’s Live at Five. She is a former editorial director of Press Association Scotland and commercial editor and columnist with the Daily Record. She is currently working with the DC Thomson media group and supports businesses with communication and content creation. Clare is based in Edinburgh.
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