The Five Stages of Falling in Love

The Five Stages of Falling in Love

4.7 22
by Rachel Higginson
     
 

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Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died six months ago from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later,

Overview

Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died six months ago from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940046187700
Publisher:
Rachel Higginson
Publication date:
01/27/2015
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
9,194
File size:
395 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

I was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent my college years traveling the world. I fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But I came back home to marry my high school sweetheart and now I spend my days raising our growing family. In those few spare moments I have, I am either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction, because I am obsessed with it. Five other things I'm obsessed with right now: 1. My Kuerig Coffee Machine. Genius. 2. 90's music. Oh man, the 90's speak right to my soul. 3. Chocolate smelling body wash. Who doesn't want to walk around smelling like a bakery? 4. Colored Chapstick. And if it's Dr. Pepper Flavored, that's kind of my nirvana. And. 5. Spotify. It's like the mixed-tape of this generation and I have probably three hundred hours of music on there. Can't get enough.

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The Five Stages of Falling in Love 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Mom2Smithboys More than 1 year ago
This was slow to begin with but understandably she was mourning and had her ups and downs. The relationship between Liz and Grady does flourish and he steps in unlike any other man would and wants to be with her and take on her clan. At times this book brought me to tears and I was happy she had found someone who truly wanted to take her baggage and help her unpack it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Real and relatable characters and storyline! I loved everything about this book.
Anonymous 25 days ago
I loved this story it felt very so real
Anonymous 11 months ago
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you will fall in love with Ben, too!
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
Oh. My. Gosh. This book is something else. It is so beautifully written and heartbreakingly real that you will FEEL like you are in the character’s position. I loved and adored everything about this book from the characters to the well-rounded plot. The author, Rachel Higginson, successfully weaves a beautiful story that incorporates all the stages of loss: grief, denial, anger, etc. with finding love again. While this was very difficult for the main character, Elizabeth, all of her feelings were exactly on point and readers cannot help but understand her side of things. Wow, this book just totally melted my heart and honestly made me cry. It is a gorgeous story- one all book addicts must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CSJaney More than 1 year ago
"A beautiful falling apart & coming together all in one!" I didn't know what to expect with this book when I first started it. However, I quickly acknowledged this was a different romance read than I'm used to reading. The story is basically meeting Liz and her husband Grady who dies, leaving Liz the grieving widow of four young children. Six months pass between his death to where she meets Ben, her new and hot neighbor, and they become friends...well, it takes Liz a bit to let him in, but he wants to help and he likes her, so their friendship grows. I loved how Rachel wrote about all the five stages of grief...and the way they coincided with her relationship with Ben was so wonderful. You saw and felt how much she struggled with loving Grady and missing him, yet being attracted to Ben, liking him, and wanting to be closer to him. We got to experience their budding friendship, the way Ben was gentle and kind and patient with Liz, slowly leading her toward more with him, and slowly, we get to experience them falling in love with each other. It also shows the effects the death of their father, and their mother's new relationship, has on the children, which was also done splendidly. However, at times Liz came across as a little selfish and too focused on herself, not realizing how her behavior was affecting those around her, including Ben. I teared up in quite a few places while reading this lovely story. It was well-written and evoked a couple teary-eyed moments for me, which is hard for a book to do. Only thing I have to say is, I would've really enjoyed an epilogue. The ending felt just a tad bit rushed once they were together for good, and we get a summarization by Liz of their relationship and where it went, instead of being shown. However, it didn't bug me enough to take away from the story at all. I'm looking forward to reading more stories by this author, as well. ~Girl in a Corner Book Blog
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so very good. I highly recommend reading it. The story is so well written, I felt like I was sitting in the room with them. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! One of my favorites! Beautifully written and lot of wonderful heart and feeling! Funny, warm, and all of the above! Easilly a 5+++++ star read! Can't say enugh about this book and author! Will definately read more from her! Read it!!! You won't be dissapointed!!!!
Mikki4ABookishEscape More than 1 year ago
5 emotional, life-changing, sublime, healing stars! The Five Stages of Falling in Love, by Rachel Higginson, has been appearing on my social media newsfeed since the day it came out. Day after day, I have read many amazing things about this book. I have to admit that it took me a while to actually get comfortable to read this book.  Let me explain... I knew going into this story that it was going to be difficult for me to read it. I have a close friend that has a similar story to Liz. The medical situation was not the same, but her loss was equally heartbreaking. She left to work on a cold winter morning and during the day she received a phone call that changed her life. Her husband passed away in their home from a heart condition. He was too young to die. He was a person full of life just like Grady. He is missed every single day.  I learned a lot from this book. When you are living a similar situation you don't actually stop and think about these five stages that will change your life, because they will. When somebody dies, a part of you dies with them. As I read Liz's journey, I saw her grow into another person. Every day was a new beginning. Some days she would go to bed and be totally fine, and the next, she would be back to square one. My heart broke for her. I was cheering for her to find her inner peace. To see her let go of her fears and her emotional baggage was remarkable.  Every single character in this story was memorable. This cast of characters made this story come alive. I loved every single one of them. They all brought something to the story and helped Liz in her difficult times. Don't even get me started on Ben. Oh, sweet baby Jesus! He was exactly the kind of person that needed to find his way into Liz's life. He was such a strong, lovable, calm and understanding human being. I had a smile on my face everything he walked into a room *Swoon*  I knew that this book was going to be emotional. I was expecting some tears, but they never came. The tears are freely falling from my eyes now. As I type my review for this wonderful book. I tried to be strong for Liz through her journey and, I was. I think that my tears are not from everything she went through, but for all the struggles she has won with her strength and determination. It gives me hope for my friend and for every single person that is going through a hard time. It was my first time reading a book by Rachel Higginson and it won't be my last one. This is one book I will never forget. I give, The Five Stages of Falling in Love, by Rachel Higginson 5 emotional, life-changing, sublime, healing stars!
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
4.5 Emotional Stars! My immediate feelings after reading this book is that I'm tired. I am emotionally drained. This book was so powerful, so moving, so amazing.... From the moment I started reading The Five Stages of Falling In Love, I knew this was going to be a tough book. I mean, I was ugly crying just from the prologue! You are taken on the very real journey though Liz's grief. My heart was constantly breaking for Liz as she was going through this process. She felt so alone, she was just barley hanging on. She went from having the most amazing partner to being a single mom to four young children. When a new neighbor moves in next door, the last thing Liz planned for was making a new friend. Little did she know, that this neighbor would end up saving her. Little by little he ingrained his presence into her family, into her life. He gave her strength and support. He was so patient, kind and showed Liz that it was ok to live again.  The Five Stages of Falling In Love will take you on one very emotional roller-coaster ride. I felt as though Liz's emotions were my very own. I felt as though I was experiencing this and going through this journey with her. It was just so well written and so real. The Five Stages of Falling Love is a very heartwarming and beautiful story. You will experience grief and sorrow, sadness and acceptance, fear and love. This is definitely one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long time.  The Five Stages of Falling In Love is a beautiful story and I highly recommend checking it out. One word of advice, have some tissues ready. You will need them. * I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson is a lovely romance. Elizabeth Carlson has just lost her husband Grady. He had brain tumors and tried every treatment possible before he died. Elizabeth is left with uncontrollable grief and four young children. Elizabeth will have to work through the five stages of grief in order to get on with her life and find love again. Elizabeth and Grady had a great marriage. They were happily in love and enjoyed their life with their children. Blake, age 8; Abby, age 6; Lucy, age 4; and Jace, age 2. They are a handful, but they enjoy their children. Then Grady is diagnosed with brain tumors. They are inoperable, but they try every treatment available to get rid of them. Unfortunately, Grady's heart gives out and he passes away. Elizabeth and the children have to find a way to continue on without Grady. It is a constant struggle for Elizabeth. She does not want to get up but knows that she has to for the children. She is constantly angry and strikes out at everyone. Abby is also acting out. Elizabeth's sister, Emma is a big help. Then enters the new neighbor, Ben Tyler. He is very nice and understanding with Elizabeth and the children. At first Elizabeth does not want to accept help, but gradually Ben works his way into the families life. Slowly Elizabeth starts to fall in love as her grief over losing Grady starts to lessen. It will be a struggle, though, for Elizabeth. Elizabeth has different emotions battling inside her that she will have to deal with and handle. Her love for Grady and her new blossoming love for Ben. Elizabeth feels guilty for moving on, but she loves the way Ben makes her feel--alive! Ben will need a lot of patience and a lot of love! The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a sweet romance. At some points you just want to yell and shake Elizabeth because she is so steeped in grief and useless to everyone. The ending was very sweet and makes you sigh. I give The Five Stages of Falling in Love a 4 out of 5 stars! I hope you enjoy reading it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
jewelSD More than 1 year ago
Such a great story talk about a roller coaster of emotions! Being a woman you are sucked into this life of liz's you can't help but sympathize with all her many emotions. You automatically put yourself in her position and think what if this were me? Rachel takes us through Liz's dark stages of grief into the the brightness of hope, and the love that is to be found in spite of heartache and loss.
twimom101 More than 1 year ago
This book started out really great. Even evoked a few shedding of tears at the beginning. The middle of it was also really good. I loved hearing Liz's story as she traipses through her hectic life while trying to raise 4 young kids as a single mom. But it was the end that got me right in the guts. Right where it counts. It absolutely tore me up from the inside out all while lying next to my sweet, asleep, and blissfully unaware husband. He had no idea what this author and this book were doing to me. There is something so wonderful about taking your time on a book. Especially one as fabulous as this one was. You get more invested with the characters that you might not have done when you blow right through. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with quick reading...I usually do quick reading. Well, up until baby made an appearance. So I guess I have her to thank for allowing me to take my time and form such a connection with all the characters of this amazing read. Because when all was said and done and I was finished with this book, it took me some time to move on to my next read. It was as if I was still expecting to see these people I have grown to love and hear some more of their story. As you read THE FIVE STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE, it is as if the author had went through all the pain and hurt and reliving just as the main character did. It comes off that real and believable. You don’t only read the book and its words…you feel the story. And wow, what a story it is! Higginson did an incredible job creating such an emotional read one that I will remember for a long time to come. So, thanks to this book…this amazing, exceptional, and glorious book…I have fallen back in love with Higginson as an author all over again. I highly recommend this read! 5 Beautiful, Painful and Emotional Stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way this was written in first person, really giving the depth of feeling the characrer Liz had in all her stages of grief and love. I really enjoyed this book.
sugarpine721 More than 1 year ago
This book was just one huge feeling after another. You live through the grief with Liz...but as much as it is heartbreaking it is also full of hope. Ben is such an amazing hero...steadfast, strong, loving...this is a book of the power of grief and the hope that overcomes even the darkest of moments. It is a journey... Such a great book! “I don’t know if I can ever live up to the legacy that he left behind. I don’t know if I want to. But Liz, he died. And you’re still alive. And there is so much left of your life to live. I want to live it with you. I want to be a part of everything that remains for you, good and bad. I want to be there for your kids, for your stressful days, for your amazing days, for all of your nights and for every moment in between. We tried the time apart, but we are better together. Both of us. Yes, Grady was your great love, but you are mine. And if you would let me, I would be yours too. There isn’t a limit on how much we can love, Liz. You had Grady. Now have me.” It reminded me of an all-time favorite of mine "Room For You" by Beth Ehemann!
BookNerd_93 More than 1 year ago
**Five Star River Review!!** This was my first book from Rachel Higginson and all I can think right now is “WOW!”. I knew from the synopsis and little snippets that by reading this book emotional wreckage was in my near future, and wrecked I was! I delved ahead regardless though because I knew without a doubt, deep in my bones, I had to make this book a part of my life. So as you can imagine I was bawling from the very start and well throughout as the story progressed. While reading this beautifully written book I could not help but grieve along with main character, Liz Carlson, as she works through the stages of grief after losing her husband to cancer. It’s just impossible to feel anything other than pure heartbreak over her loss. Now Liz is a single mom to her four children, Blake, Abby, Lucy and Jace, while barely making it one day at a time. I could definitely picture the chaos and frustration Liz went through while trying to adjust, and help her kids adjust, to the life they had to live now. Life is not always pretty and easy going, especially after loss, and I felt every emotion Higginson portrayed in her writing. One thing that I have come to look forward to while reading books is the initial introduction/meeting of the main characters. When reading Liz’s interaction with her new neighbor, Ben Tyler, I was instantly all smiles. With Liz rushing after her daughter Abby who found Ben’s backyard swimming pool it was a short-lived introduction for these two. But I found it pleasantly adorable and looked forward to learning more about Ben. As time goes on, Liz and Ben spend more time together and become friends over late night talks and wine. And Ben starts making his way into her life and her kids. While going through Liz’s stages of grief we see the very real struggles that being a single mom and widow takes her through. The way her children struggle to cope and adjust to a life without their father. And all the ripple effects his absence left through the entire family. I love that Ben was slowly integrated into Liz and her kid’s lives. Death is not easy and I really felt Rachel expressed how very difficult it can be to let someone new into your life after such a great loss. But also how beautiful finding love again can be and letting that knew love interlock with the love you currently hold. For some reason I always feel like Goldilocks when it comes to reading. Not too slow, not too fast. The writing has to be ‘just right’. I love that this was so even paced yet kept everything feeling like it was moving forward. Every character was believable and felt real. They complemented the story and the progress wonderfully. I can say, without a doubt, that Rachel was spot on with everything in this book! It’s not insta-love, nor does it hold a lot of angst, it’s a slow love that comes at just the right time. Even with all it’s ups and downs I could not help but relate to the feelings and emotions all the characters went through. I fell deeply in love with them and will remember the journey they took in order to keep truly living. And loving. I hope that if you decide to give this book a chance (and you really should pick this one up) that you too fall in love as you go with Liz through these five stages. It’s more than worth it and will forever change your view of heartache, second chances and real love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review: What can I say?!? This book was heart wrenching. That is the best way to describe it! It was wonderfully thought out and flowed from each stage seamlessly. It was an absolute pleasure to read it. I continue to be amazed every time Rachel Higginson comes out with another book. I shouldn't, but I do. The only thing that I would have liked more
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
Sometimes a book has the power to overtake your world and as a result, make you realize how precious life truly is. The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson had that affect on me. The prologue is its own impassioned and emotional roller coaster, which drew me right into this heartfelt and powerful read. I recommend keeping a box of tissues handy, because sobbing during each and every chapter is inescapable. Liz and Grady Carlson were happily married with four children. They were each others soul-mates in every sense of the word. Then Grady was diagnosed with brain cancer and succumbed to the disease after an unselfish fight. Now Liz is dealing with her tremendous grief, along with her children's, while trying to keep it all together. Her emotions are all over the spectrum, with intense breakdowns being an almost daily occurrence. Her younger sister Emma is an incredible help, along with her new neighbor Ben. Ben slowly and painstakingly becomes her rock, as Liz has a difficult time accepting that true love can strike twice in a lifetime. Wow, what an amazing and heartrending read. I finished this book a few hours ago, yet it took me a while to pull myself together in order to write a review. Only a few books have ever caused me to be contemplative and overwhelmingly raw, which this one does stunningly. This is a well-written book that should not be missed. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
psee More than 1 year ago
Only took five minutes to fall in love with this book....5 Star Review To say I was emotionally wrought after reading this book would be an understatement as I think the Prologue was all it took. So yes, this is a "Box of Kleenex" kind of read. Beyond the sadness lies, in my mind, four beautiful stories of love. Sure you may be scratching your head..four? Yes. Two of the love stories are what you would expect while the other two are more of an undercurrent in the story that brought out my emotions as well and deserve to be mentioned.  Elizabeth Carlson is the remarkable heroine in this story and I absolutely loved her because she is so real. The emotions, her actions, even when she was doing something that may have been rude or annoying, were genuine, and I loved it. As Elizabeth deals with her grief, we are introduced to the first love story...the love of a lifetime. Something so amazingly beautiful and bright this love was like fireworks to Lizbeth. Unfortunately, the splendor of a fireworks show is limited. Eventually all that brightness fades to black and you can never get that exact moment back. Grady was all of this to Elizabeth and more. He was an amazing father, provider and brother but his life was cut short and Elizabeth is trying to survive her grief. While in survival mode, Liz meets Ben her incredibly gorgeous and unbelievably single new neighbor. Ben becomes a great help to Liz and eventually he becomes a source of happiness to her. Liz attempts to set Ben up with her equally great sister Emma, but this doesn't work because Ben isn't interested in that sister. I have a new favorite book boyfriend. Ben is amazing. He is very interested in Liz and more importantly he is equally interested in being there for her four kids. What I found most amazing about Ben was his patience and understanding of what Liz was going through. It is through Ben we get another love story for Liz. This love is very different. It isn't bright and shiny but it is deep, saving and equally beautiful. Liz is conflicted by this love which doesn't come without some bumps in the road. Nonetheless it makes for a better journey and Ben is along for the ride helping Liz find her way. As I mentioned before there are two other love stories simmering in the background that equally tugged on my heartstrings. They are the stories of two mothers and the love for their children. The scenes with Liz and her kids are both heartbreaking and entertaining throughout the book. Their struggles and the craziness of life in general make the story so real. Each of the kids are wonderful but I especially loved Blake. More dimension is added when we also get the story of a mother who has not only raised her children but is now suffering the loss of a child. Katherine, Grady's mother, did not rub me the right way initially, but her transformation and the changing relationship between Katherine and Liz throughout the book was hearfelt. Other characters in the book are equally wonderful. Being able to experience Emma, and even Tyler's relationship with Liz and her kids made this an amazing story. Though I would have loved for Liz and Ben's story to continue in another book, Higginson did the most amazing job of giving me the more I so often long for at the completion of a book. She brought me to tears yet again with Liz's final words. On a side note, I wouldn't mind getting a spin off book for Emma, totally loved her, and this way we could get more of Liz and Ben. So, if I didn't make it clear through my review, this is a must read stand alone book. Well written, this book will make you laugh and most definitely will make you cry. It will blow you away and leave you with a happy heart. I am now a Higginson fan and look forward to reading more of her books. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
        The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Rachel Higginson Genre: Contemporary Romance, women’s fiction Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews  This book is one of those that gets you by the trhoat as soon as you start. I just couldn’t out it down – had to keep on reading right to the end... We begin when Grady is in hospital, getting flashbacks of his and Liz’s life so far. They’ve been living the dream, lovely house, successful business, four adorable kids and a perfect love between them. Then Grady gets brain cancer, and its a nightmare. I had cancer at 36, and though luckily I survived it took its toll on the family, life changed from a family with two working parents and three teens, to one where everything revolved around Cancer and trying to survive it. So much of what Liz is going through sounded familiar, and Grady – wow – what a man. I was in tears for him and the loss his death would cause. It doesn’t seem fair does it when this kind of thing happens, when families are going about their business merrily, happy, helping others and loving their lives and then – bam!! What was a major worry, say about a big bill or something – becomes irrelevant when Death is being faced. Nothing else matters and priorities change massively. Its like a bolt from the blue for most of us, there we are trundling happily along and then...well, this book has it perfectly. How can Liz carry on? She’s been part of a team, their life and family are geared up to two parents, and now there’s just her. I so felt for her, struggling with four young children. Thank goodness for her sister, she was such a support, so so needed. At first friends and school make allowances, but as Liz found out that doesn’t last and they can’t seem to understand her and the children's issues, why they aren’t on time, why the kids play up. Its so tough for her, and easy to just fall into the black hole. Then Ben moves in, and right from day one he’s such a help. Its clear how he feels about Liz and the kids, and he just goes about helping in his gentle unassuming way. He really is a man in a million. It would be easy to think that having got to mid thirties without being engaged or married there was something wrong, maybe he’s one of those life bachelors or something. Rachel deals with those thoughts perfectly though, giving us a very easy to understand reason why he’s never been in a serious relationship, and why that is now possible. I could get behind that easily, and it made me love him even more. He slowly works his way into Liz’s family, and becomes a support she can’t do without. That first date, first kiss, first time they make love are such huge milestones for her, and I could see her dilemma, she felt she was letting Grady down, even though he’d been emphatic that she find someone and share her light. He was so generous, he’s basked in her love and wanted someone else to share in it – he seemed to know too that Liz needed someone for herself when he was gone. To be dying and still that considerate – when my diagnosis was given my first thought was that husband would look after kids of course, but I was emphatic about my horse too – only had him two years, after waiting all my life for one. The thought of him needing another wife never entered my head. If it did I think I’d have been much more selfish than Grady, and said “no way”!! Its a one step forward two steps back romance, so carefully constructed, Ben was so patient and understanding and the kids loved him. He didn’t seek to take Grady’s place but to just be another person they love. That worked well for me, I just loved the way they kids took to him, that he and they seemed to have an understanding early on. It’s a beautiful read, sensual and seductive, and packed with emotion. I was on the edge of tears so many times, and then high with happiness when things went right. It feels so very very real, all the doubts Liz had, the way she was dealing with issues, and the way she seemed to sway from one view to another, questioning all the while what she should do, was it right, acceptable for her to be happy. Perfect read, perfect characters and one to savour and re read. Stars: five, a great read. ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.