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Everything Happens For A Reason

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When Rachel's baby is stillborn, she becomes obsessed with the idea that saving a stranger's life months earlier is to blame. An unforgettable, heart-wrenching, warm and funny debut...

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Katie Allen


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, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results…

Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant 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.


‘Emotionally engaging, witty, clever and wonderfully satisfying.’
Daily Express

‘It is impossible not to fall for this story and its characters’
Isabelle Broom

A stunning debut … a wise, moving, and thought-provoking novel’
Susan Elliot Wright

‘A triumph … a book of hope and ambition and making sense of the world, a tale of acting spontaneously, living in the moment and throwing caution to the wind’
Isabella May

‘So affecting. Profoundly sad. Funny. I just loved it’
Louise Beech

‘A heart-wrenching, soul-lifting read about loss and redemption in unlikely places’
Eve Smith

‘Read it and weep but also, incredibly, find moments to laugh and to know there is life after death’
Julia Hobsbawm

‘Beautiful … sad, quirky and at times very funny’
Madeleine Black

‘Simultaneously devastating and hilarious’
Clare Allan

‘Quirky yet insightful, bright yet wistful, amusing yet emotional … full of contradictions that fuse into the most surprising, moving, and beautiful novel’
Liz Robinson, LoveReading

‘An incredibly important and beautifully written book. Bittersweet and brave, it will keep you both laughing and crying until the last page’
Kate Ford

‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … you’ll finish this book, set it aside and wonder at the honesty and empathy of this writer’
Michael J Malone

‘A memorable, poetic read … reminded of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Becky Fleetwood

‘A touching, moving and emotional debut’
Emma-Claire Wilson, Glass House Magazine

The perfect mix of clever, funny and intensely moving’
Cari Rosen

‘Allen masterfully balances tragedy and humour in this vital story about making sense of the profoundly nonsensical’
Julia Bueno

‘Insightful, witty and humbling’
Jenny Mison