Delighted to welcome you all to the blog tour for ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ by Katie Allen. I have an extract to share with you all today but first, here is what this novel is all about.
Author : Katie Allen
Title : Everything Happens for a Reason
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 10, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Armed with one broken heart and a (borrowed) sausage dog, Rachel is on a mission to find out why her baby was born sleeping.
Because Everything Happens for a Reason…
Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.
When a misguided well-wisher tells her that ‘everything happens for a reason’, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she’s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.
Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results…
Both a heart-wrenching portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life-affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.
| EXTRACT |
Wed 1/3, 16:52
SUBJECT: Her name is Lola
Didn’t I tell you to trust me? Lola – that’s what she prefers to be called – is brilliant. Got her on a bad day before. Here’s a piece of pound-shop wisdom for you: no one ever knows what’s truly going on in someone else’s life.
I have to go out again in a minute, but this is where we are.
I braved the end of the morning rush and caught her before any break times. It was that point in the morning when the suits were gone and it was all hairy men in suede trainers and thick-rimmed glasses, and women in long skirts with fluorescent ankle socks. I struggled through their rucksacks to Lola’s platform. She recognised me but seemed to think we were meeting by chance.
‘You still looking for the man?’ she asks.
‘I feel awful about before,’ I say. ‘I shouldn’t have asked you.’
‘Why you need to find him?’ Her voice is efficient, strong.
A train pulls in, and she speaks into her radio and waves a plastic paddle about. She’s not wearing a wedding ring – guessing it’s a health-and-safety thing. But then why would she be allowed hoop earrings? Why is anyone?
The train leaves, the platform clears.
‘It’s silly. You won’t get it,’ I say. ‘I’ll let you carry on.’
‘I remember him … and you,’ she says. ‘You all took over. I had him, on the ground, you pulled me off, pushed me away.’
‘You did a good thing,’ she says.
‘I need to find him.’
She strokes out the creases in her jumper. She needs the next size up.
‘But I know you’re not allowed to help me,’ I carry on. ‘It was silly, I shouldn’t have asked.’ The next train rumbles closer and I turn to leave.
‘You been looking for him this whole time?’ she asks.
‘I just started. I need to find him.’
I wait while she does whatever it is she does. As the train leaves, I follow her eyes up to a CCTV camera.
‘I wasn’t supposed to be there,’ I say, and because her eyes are telling me she wants more, I tell her about you. How I was on my way to surprise E with the news. Her face shows she understands. But it’s not like with other mothers; I don’t resent her for it. Anyway, hers must be grown up. I’d guess she’s at least forty-five, had them young.
‘What did you have?’ she asks.
‘A boy. Luke.’
‘He’s at nursery?’ She’s looking at my empty arms. I listen for a train, anything. You’d love nursery. You’re on a waiting list for one where they speak Mandarin.
There’s a bench along the platform. Lola sits next to me, asks, ‘What happened?’
‘He just stopped kicking.’
She squeezes my hand, leans closer.
Her shoulder’s pillowy.
Ugh, hello lump in throat. Want to read more? Of course you do! So go forth and find yourself a copy of ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ now!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Everything Happens for a Reason is Katie’s first novel. She used to be a journalist and columnist at the Guardian and Observer, and started her career as a Reuters correspondent in Berlin and London. The events in Everything Happens for a Reason are fiction, but the premise is loosely autobiographical. Katie’s son, Finn, was stillborn in 2010, and her character’s experience of grief and being on maternity leave without a baby is based on her own. And yes, someone did say to her ‘Everything happens for a reason’.
Katie grew up in Warwickshire and now lives in South London with her husband, children, dog, cat and stick insects. When she’s not writing or walking children and dogs, Katie loves baking, playing the piano, reading news and wishing she had written other people’s brilliant novels.