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The Life Intended

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  8,036 ratings  ·  1,202 reviews
From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that ask
Paperback, 341 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Gallery Books
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Jennifer Robb No, it does not have a lot of swearing, though there are a few instances (but nothing I found too horrid.) There is mention of sex between Kate and he…moreNo, it does not have a lot of swearing, though there are a few instances (but nothing I found too horrid.) There is mention of sex between Kate and her late husband Patrick, and between Kate and her now fiance, Dan, though nothing graphic. There's also implied sex between Patrick and his previous girlfriend Candice since they have a child. (less)
Kristin Harmel From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, come…moreFrom the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

After her husband's sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she's planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn't she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she's really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband's hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.(less)

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  8,036 ratings  ·  1,202 reviews

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Aestas Book Blog
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

HOLY WOW. *wipes tears* WOW. WOW WOW .

I can say with full certainty that this was one of THE BEST BOOKS I have ever read in my whole life, and it is easily one of the Top 10 most emotional ones too. I  ugly cried . Tears pouring down my face. Crying with noise. Crying so hard I couldn't even see the page. But, don't be scared. This isn't a tragic story and it's not depressing (I'm going to come right out and say that it's a happy endin

What a book. WHAT. A. BOOK.

Beautiful. Poignant. Profound. PURE PERFECTION.


Enjoyment: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Hero: 5/5
Heroine: 5/5
Secondary characters: 5/5
Hotness/steam: 1/5
Romance: 3/5
Angst: 5/5
Darkness level: 2/5
Humor: 2/5
Depth of the book: 5/5
POV: heroine, 1st person

Triggers: (view spoiler)
Elyse  Walters
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Kate is the center of this story..."connected to all characters"!

Kate's first husband, Patrick dies in a car crash just before he was about to tell her something important that night. (of course we never get to hear what Patrick was going to tell Kate). It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know what he was going to tell her.

Within in the first 8 pages --I knew the major plot & mystery. I continued reading another 320 or so pages to pretty much confirm what I already knew.

I appreciated 'parts' of
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
A stunning book that is hard hitting, emotional yet so, so raw with all of it all. I absolutely adored this novel.

A book about life, love, loss, moving on and staying put. Incredible. I could not put this book down, I was lost in the depths of it, it challenged my thinking, had me feeling just about everything and I was just glued to the pages until the very end. My first 5 star read for 2015.

After her husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to
Dale Harcombe
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate’s husband Patrick died twelve year ago. She never expected to meet another man she could love but Dan has been in her life now for a couple of years. Is she ready to make it a more permeant arrangement and commit to marriage again? And if she is why doesn’t she feel more as she did with Patrick? Everyone else seems to like Dan and think he is perfect for her. The reader may have other ideas about that, as I did.
Then Kate starts experiencing what she can only surmise are dreams where she is
Aug 31, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 (I am never going to reach my reading goal this year if it takes me four days to read a book) stars.

“So you can't compare the present with the past, not really, because you're a different person than you were … You have to look forward to the things you want, not back at the things you once had.”

Honestly, a little bit too clichéd for me. Started off interesting enough and it did hold my interest enough to finish it but … I don't know, something was missing from it. It was a little too s
Dilek VT
Jun 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book had such an interesting blurb that got my attention but it turned out to be a total disappointment for me.

OK, I am a bit angry so I might not be able to explain myself without spoilers, so sorry about that.

Kate couldn't get over her husband's early death for many years and only after 12 years, she is engaged again. And she is still not sure about it. Then she starts to see dreams that are very vivid, like real. In those dreams, she is still married to Patrick, her husband, and they hav
Camillia (Twenty Three Pages)
Can I just say firstly that this book made me cry exactly 3 times? That's 3 times more then I usually cry over books. I cried at the first chapter, I cried at the second chapter and I cried at the epilogue. And the rest of the time I was just heartbroken. I was wrecked with this book and now I have a serious book hangover.

Okay. Calm down Cam. Professional mode: ON.

This book has definitely made my list as being one of the best books of 2014. It was engaging, sweet, honest and the characters were
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
At the start of a new relationship, a young widow begins to have vivid dreams about her dead husband. The dreams make the woman begin to doubt her decision to get married again. They also make her question some parts of her current career and lead her to a new dimension of her work. Kristin Harmel gives readers this plot in the somewhat touching but mostly lopsided novel The Life Intended.

Kate Waithman has spent the last 12 years mourning her husband. His death in an accident left her reeling, a
Bethany Clark
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I would like to begin my review by thanking Net Galley and Gallery Books for an ARC of Kristin Harmel's amazing book!

Where do I begin...I have been mesmerized by this book for days. If I hadn't been working and taking care of children, I would have just read it straight through beginning to end.
She grabbed me at the beginning, had me in tears practically in the first few pages. This book has tugged at my heartstrings from page one. In some ways I feel that I have a real connection to Kate and
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing and beautiful story... loved every word! This is one of those books that makes you stop and think about all of the little moments in your life that matter most. Moments that we usually take for granted until they are gone. I knew this was going to be an emotional read. Yes, I definitely shed a few tears. But, it was also surprisingly suspenseful. The dreams/visions Kate was having with her deceased husband had me on edge and quickly turning the pages. What did they mean??
Kate lo

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*


What a brilliant, poignant yet uplifting, thought-provoking story!

I was thrilled to see a copy of ‘The Life Intended’ in my post and it was one of the best surprises ever. This book was out in the US at the end of last year, so I’ve heard many of my US blogging friends say it’s a book not to be missed! I actually have read one of Ms Harmel’s books before, ‘After’ back in 2012 and boy, I
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one hell of a read. I can't tell you too much, as I want you to experience this roller coaster of emotions yourself. You will laugh, you will cry, you will get frustrated, you will sometimes think, "where is this author going with this" but let me tell you, she does a unique storyline that kept me hooked over the Christmas season.

This is mixed emotions at its highest, at its apex.

When Kate lost her first husband, she never expected to find true love again. The thing is, can you escape fr
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A warm-hearted, feel good kind of book, which, if you can put your cynicism aside and suspend your disbelief for long enough, is very enjoyable to read. I also liked learning about musical therapy and deafness. The ending was a bit over the top and far fetched, but somehow, it worked. A great palate cleanser between more 'serious' books. ...more
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Br with dilek and this book is a first which we totally disagree about the rating:)))
This was a nice and captivating read for me even its epilogue was not satisfyin enough.
This plot is becoming my favorite day by day. Sliding doors was a perfect movie and this book made me want to watch it again.
This book was about kate and patrick mostly. Patrick died in a car accident when he was in his late twenties. After 12 years kat couldnt left her past behind. She knew sth is off. When her boyfriend Dan
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 I Was Meant To Be Yours Stars

When Katie meets Dan after the loss of her husband Patrick he is so perfect for her, her family tell her that she is so lucky. Katie loves him and he loves her and adores her. So when he proposes with a beautiful Tiffany ring she should be ecstatic but something doesn't feel right....

Because..... from that night of the proposal Patrick returns. But how can that be possible Patrick was killed 12 years ago.

These dreams are so real for Katie, because thats what it i
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Harmel has depicted a wonderful story about exploring the what-if's, dealing with loss, learning how to move on, and finding what matters most. The story line also centers on foster care and hearing impaired children. I am pleased with the surprise ending and how it wrapped the book up nicely. Lots of great quotes in this novel but I chose this one to share: “Maybe life isn’t suppose to be a cakewalk. Maybe the greatest things in life come from the greatest challenges.”

5 Stars!

I am truly speechless over this book.

Quite simply a perfect read. This book will make you grieve and feel sadness and then will slowly bring you to a place of such peace and rest. It's very magical, heart-warming, and hopeful.

Any other words will only get in the way of it's impact. Go in blind.

The Life Intended receives my highest recommendation.

Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2015
This was such a sweet, thoughtful book. It's been 12 years since Kate's husband, Patrick, died, and Kate's kind of been going through the motions of life without truly feeling happy. After she gets engaged to Dan, a guy who everyone agrees is great (albeit very different from Patrick), Kate begins having vivid dreams that feel like reality - dreams of an alternate life where Patrick never died and they have a daughter, Hannah. At first Kate thinks these dreams are simply the product of stress, b ...more
Dana Ilie
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I think fans of heartfelt women’s fiction are going to wholeheartedly embrace Kate’s emotional journey. Her struggle with grief is universal and something we can all understand. A highly recommended read.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel is an incredibly poignant but ultimately uplifting novel of healing. In this thought-provoking and beautifully written story about love and loss, lead protagonist Kate Waithman rediscovers what matters most to her. Through a series of exceptionally vivid and moving dreams, Kate experiences the life she would have had if her husband had not passed away, but is it the life she was supposed to live?

It has taken nearly twelve years, but Kate has finally
Avid Reader
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Life Intended is the story of Kate, a thirty-something who is still struggling with her husbands death 12 years prior. He was the love of her life, and their time together was cut extremely short. After so many years, Kate has become engaged again. This causes a great amount of stress, and her problems are compounded when she begins having very vivid dreams of her late husband. Is she getting married again because she really wants to or because it simply something she is supposed to do. Thin ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I found this book so trite, so cliche, and so lacking in sophistication. It seems to be written for a middle schooler with such simplistic a writing style. I am really perplexed to see all the positive reviews. Just not for me at all . So predictable and basically soap opera content and worse…Sorry ...
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5'Stars, nearly perfect in every way. I found myself crying big goofy tears!! This is a beautiful story about finding yourself, accepting others as they are and letting go. Go buy the book...its that good. ...more
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: atria-books
This book was interesting. I enjoyed reading it very much.
I don't want to say anything else.... This is a book you have to read.
Readers who like a plot with emotion will really enjoy this one. It'll be a great book club book too-I can envision MANY deep conversations on it.
Reading with T
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Decisions. Heartwarming. Beautiful.

Harmel does it again! I had really high expectations after reading her The Book of Lost Names in March, and this read did not disappoint. It was an incredibly beautiful story of life, death, time, meaning, purpose and love.

It had an easy pace, smooth flow and calm feeling. It was a quick read, but one I'm sure I'll think about for a long time. This was woven together wonderfully and created such a beautiful story.

I'm not sure what genre I would consider it...
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Recommended Read! Will also be posted at with other Recommended Reads.

This book begs to be read and interpreted by the reader without telling you why, other than you need to experience it, if not for its amazing journey, then maybe because it is so unusual and ingenious. It's that special.

Kate remembers that fateful day as if it was yesterday. The day her husband Patrick came home late without calling her and she realized he had met up with an ex-girlfriend. Of course she
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I was over the moon and really excited when I opened this bookpost, because I didn’t expect it and I always wanted to read a Kristin Harmel book, but never had the chance to. So thanks again to … at Quercus for sending me a copy.

The blurb of this book sounded very intriguing and the story was even better. Uplifting, moving and just perfect.
Oh and the cover is gorgeous, I fell in love with it immediately.

Kate is happily married to P
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kate and Patrick are happily married. Until one day, Patrick steps out and gets struck by a car. He dies, leaving Kate all alone.
Twelve years later Kate is engaged to a wonderful man and she's working at a great career as a music therapist. She goes to sleep one night to awaken next to Patrick, her dead husband. These dreams feel so real that Kate has trouble seeing life and determining which one is reality. There are messages woven within these dreams and Kate must learn to decipher what they m
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Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES, THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major

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