Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Life You Left” as Want to Read:
The Life You Left
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Life You Left

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  784 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need…
Tell the children I love them.

It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the pack lunches and juggling baby Ella’s feeds.

There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.

Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published June 19th 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Life You Left, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Life You Left

A Furious Muse by A.J. NuestThe Sacrifice by A.J. NuestA Time of Reckoning by A.J. NuestA Wizard Rises by A.J. NuestDo You Remember? by Mandy Baggot
Harper Impulse Books
177 books — 107 voters
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettLongbourn by Jo BakerThe Sum of All Kisses by Julia QuinnSarah's Key by Tatiana de RosnayWhen a Texan Gambles by Jodi Thomas
129 books — 19 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  784 ratings  ·  80 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Life You Left
“Where loved ones failed you, guardian angels stand ready to catch your fall.”
----Shannon L Alder, author

Carmel Harrington, an Irish author, entranced my mind with her new novel, The Life You Left , that lets us see the world and life in an all new way by making us belief with the existence and beauty of guardian angels, premonitions and by dealing with some life-altering problems with a positive attitude.

It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I feel a bit like I am in a parallel universe at the moment after reading this book. I have gone back and looked at all the 4 and 5 star reviews and wonder why I did not feel the same. Regardless, I just found this book lacking in a lot of areas.

Sarah's husband has sent her an email saying he's leaving for a while leaving her to care for their children on her own with bills and debt up to her eyeballs. Enter "Edward" who is Sarah's guardian angel that she has been able to see since a child, she
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

I can’t tell you how excited I was to read this book! After I’ve read Carmel’s debut novel Beyond Grace’s Rainbow I just knew that Carmel is a special and unique author.

The story follows Sarah, a mum of three adorable children (Tommy, Katie and Ella) and wife to Paul.
Paul just leaves out of the blue at the start of this novel, without saying a word. Why did he leave?
And Sarah? Sarah is special, she can see an angel and dreams about re
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: print-books
Anyone who even remotely knows me is aware of how overly-excited I’ve been for The Life You Left and Carmel Harrington yet again blew me away with this fabulous book.

Right away this book captured my attention as we hear about a mysterious email sent to Sarah from her husband Paul, saying he wasn’t coming home that night. In what could have been an intriguing story on its own, The Life You Left had much more of an edge to it than that with the fascinating addition of Sarah’s guardian angel Edwar
Margaret Madden
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
Thanks to the author for supplying and advance reader's copy in return for an honest review........

Sarah Lawlor receives an e-mail that may change her life. Her husband has decided he needs space and has left no details as to his whereabouts or his intentions. Left to manage on her own with three young children, she contacts her twin brother, James, with the news that not only is her husband gone AWOL, but that a visitor from her past has turned up unexpectedly. When James hears the n
Natalie TBGWP
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After falling in love with Harrington's debut novel Beyond Graces Rainbow, I have been on pins waiting for this to be released. I'm ever so lucky that Carmel sent over a copy for me to read straight away. I can honestly assure you from the bottom of my heart that I have never in all my years of reading come across an author as genuine in her writing as what she is. She has such a charming, easy flow to it that it takes you into the depth of the story wholeheartedly.

The Life You Left is a heartfe
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse and NetGalley.)

This book was (in my opinion) a big old mess.

Sarah was clearly nuts. Not only did she speak to an invisible guardian angel, she acted on what he said, and then found other people who were also nuts to corroborate her story! I did think she had guts for going to speak to her husband the way she did and confronting him about what was going on, but in truth th
Teena in Toronto
Jun 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I felt bad for Sarah because her husband was a jerk and left her. I thought the fact she had an angel named Edward was interesting as was her ability to "see" things that were going to happen. I got 35% into the book (when Sarah confronts Paul ... I found their conversation annoying and badly written) and I couldn't read any more.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who follows me on twitter will know of my absolute love for Beyond Grace's Rainbow, one of the most perfect books I have ever read. I loved every second of it. I have been eagerly anticipating the release of Carmel's second book 'The Life You Left' to see if she could produce another gem. If I'm honest I was a bit scared because I wasn't sure she could match her debut novel. I was wrong!

The Life You Left is another award winner. I LOVED it! From the start I was unable to put it down unti
Trish at Between My Lines
4.5 stars

This book left me feeling a little bit sad and a little bit lost at the end of it. Not because it was bad. Just the opposite! It was so enjoyable that I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I loved the characters and hated saying farewell to them.

First Life of The Life We Left:

“Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.”

My thoughts on The Life We Left:

I had high expectations of this book as I loved Carmel’s last book – Beyond Grace’s Rainbow – and along with those high hopes, I also had some fear.

Also posted on This Chick Reads

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

First time I heard about Carmel Harrington was last year when I read so many fantastic reviews of her debut 'Beyond Grace's Rainbow'. I still haven't read that book, but it's on my kindle and I do hope I will be on it soon. The positive feedback from my friends/bloggers and praise of Carmel's writing were enough to get me excited about reading her books. I was beyond thrilled to be approved
Gurdeep Assi
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carmel Harrington does it again! Another satisfying read. I absolutely loved the debut novel, Beyond Grace's Rainbow and when this book was released i had no doubt it was going to be another winner. And after reading it, i was completely was perfect. I was drawn from the beginning...the opening sentence.

Sarah's life is turned upside down when her husband Paul disappears and abandon's her with her three children ( Tommy, Katie and Ella). Poor Sarah struggles emotionally and financially
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Carmel's last book Beyond Grace's Rainbow and so I saved The Life You Left for my day-long journey off to my honeymoon as I knew it would grip my attention. I wasn't wrong. I practically bit the head off the air hostess who told me I had to turn off my Kindle for descent on the second plane as I only had a few percent to go (an advert for paperbacks remaining relevant!).

Without warning Sarah's husband ups and leaves her with their three young children and a whole lot of debt. This corres
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I take my hat of to Carmel Harrington for the genius first page in the book. I cannot imagine a single person being able to put this down after being hit with that bombshell, and it very cleverly creates a drive to read on and on.

Sarah’s situation is tough to read, and no doubt very real for some people, and it gets you straight in the heart. Having never been moved to thoughts of violence by a book before, I was shocked that Paul, Sarah’s husband, evoked those kinds of feelings in me and I hone
Paula Sealey
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
I started this book excitedly having loved the two previous books by Carmel I've read, but this was just a confusing story, as if the author couldn't narrow down what she wanted to write about so included a bit of everything. There is a rather weak and rushed romance, a crime and a silly supernatural element all mashed together creating a jumble that was hard to sift through. And don't even get me started on the dreadful editing, or lack of it! Errors galore that were really off putting. It's an ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written story which I found completely believable. And this is despite the inclusion of a character who appears to have psychic abilities as that way the story was told, it just seemed normal, as did the character of Edward who really is rather special too. I was almost in tears poolside as the book drew its conclusions and I was bereft at that it had to finish at all. An absolutely brilliant book by such an amazingly talented author.
Ash Luna
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favs

When I was first introduced to Carmel Harrington it was her first book Beyond Grace's Rainbow

and I was hooked to Carmel and her writing she is AMAZING.

I could not wait for The Life You Left  I read the synopsis and I just knew it would take me away into a whole other place, and I was right it did it captured me and melted my heart.

The Life You Left starts out with the main character Sarah receiving a cryptic email from her husband Paul who says he needs some ti
Lynn Marie Hulsman
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished the novel “The Life You Left” by Carmel Harrington and I want to say that my mind has been blown. That may sound pretty strong, but here’s why: I have never considered myself a mystery/suspense kind of reader. This cross-genre book has me rethinking the box I’ve put myself in. Had I stuck to my own category, I would have missed this terrific read.

I cracked this book open because I loved Harrington’s debut novel “Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.” At the very least, I thought, it will be w
Sorcha O'Dowd
It was the honesty in which the synopsis of this book was written that really drew me in, and I just knew that this book could really be something special. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult and new adult books recently, and was looking for an adult novel which I could read, to bring me back into the adult romance genre. I expected it to be an adjustment for me to read a book that wasn’t heavily romantic, but Carmel Harrington didn’t for one second have me thinking that I had nothing to rela ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One minute Sarah Lawler is a happily married mother of three, the next she is left to juggle everything on her own as her husband Paul has decided he needs some space. Taking all their money with him, Sarah is left bewildered and alone struggling from one day to the next. She is shocked beyond belief but has three young children to look after, so battles on in the hope that Paul will return. However, as she pieces together more snippets of information, she discovers that there is more behind his ...more
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review first posted on my blog: http://spoonfulofhappyendings.blogspo...

Sarah Lawler leads a normal life with her husband Paul, their three children Tommie, Katie and Ella, and her part-time job. However, everything changes completely when one morning when Sarah finds a note from Paul, stating he has gone away and that she shouldn’t worry about him; no further explanation. Suddenly Sarah has to take care of everything alone: the children, the household, the mortgage, and she has no idea how to c
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

For Sarah Lawler, life is fairly simple. She works part-time, tends to her three young children, and runs the household while husband Paul works. Yes, it's simple, but she likes it.

Simple can turn to complicated in the length of time it takes to read a three-lined note, however.

Paul is gone, and there is no telling when he will return. What is Sarah supposed to do now? There are three children to take care of, and her part time job can't even pay for the groceries. Paul cleared out most
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I liked the sound of this book when I saw it on NetGalley, but then life got in the way so it's been on my TBR list for a while now. I picked it up last night and I really got into the story. I struggled to put it down to go to bed, and then this morning I rushed home after the school run so that I could get back to my book!
The prologue had me hooked - the email from Paul, Sarah's husband comes out of the blue, she didn't see it coming at all. Now she has to carry on as normal as possible for he
Katie Heflin
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Netgalley from the publishers and I am SOOO glad I did!!

Absolutely brilliant. This story starts with Sarah, a 30-something mom of 3 young children, receives an email from her husband that he is going through a mental breakdown and needs to get away for a while. She is beside herself, she only works a part-time job at a boutique and is busy with the kids at all times. But her husband Paul is the sole provider and since she's been married with him for 10 years, she cannot
Jane Hunt
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook

Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+

'The Life You Left' is a charming, compelling book with a distinctive ethos. Full of memorable characters, you don't want to say goodbye to. This multi layered story melds mystery, romance, paranormal and suspense together beautifully.

Paul abandons Sarah and her three small children after ten years of marriage. His communication method is cowardly and she believes he is ill but this is only
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The Life You Left is the second book by Carmel Harrington that has left me reaching for the tissues more than once, so be prepared!

Sarah's life is turned upside down when she finds out that, out of the blue, her husband has left her and their three young children. Left alone to try and pick up the pieces and pay the bills, Sarah finds that the childhood friend who actually is an angel that nobody else could see, and the cause of her parents admitting her to psychiatric help as a child,
Celeste Ní raois
Sarah is happily married or so she thought to Paul & they've 3 young children until one day she receives an email from Paul to say that he won't be home that night which changes her life forever. Carmel develops each character so that you really feel like you know them. I love how the storyline came together, it was a busy one but never did she make me feel like I was lost. I did really want to get mad at Paul for how he picked up and left but this book had a very different approach to the subje ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Right where do I start, so much going on in one book !! so much much of an amazing story !!

Carmel Harrington does not disappoint (yet again!) on this new book of hers. She is an amazing story teller and manages to weave so much emotion and love and personal touches into her writing. I feel there is so much of her in there see I am lucky enough to actually know her personally ! But that's not the reason for the 5 star review, and when you read it yourself you will see
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally posted on:

Actual rating: 3,5 stars

Early this year I read Carmel's debut novel, Beyond Grace's Rainbow, and I loved it. So I was very excited when I was approved on Netgalley for her second book, The Life You Left. I started it with great expectations but it took me a while to get into the story of Sarah.

Sarah has been abandoned by her husband and is struggling both emotionally and financially with her three kids. And to top it all, she is seei
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-new-release
When Sarah's husband Paul sends her an email saying he isn't coming home for the foreseeable future, she has to pick up the pieces of her life and carry on for the sake of their three children. Luckily for her, Sarah has a very supportive twin brother James, and a guardian angel Edward that she can see and communicate with. While this upheaval occurs in her life, she also begins to have vision and premonitions that lead her to believe she may hold the key to doing a local murder case.

The fact t
« previous 1 3 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mr Portobello's Morning Paper
  • One Moment
  • A Million Dreams
  • My One Month Marriage
  • The Light in the Hallway
  • New Hope for the Little Cornish Farmhouse
  • Untitled 2
  • The Restaurant: The stunning new novel
  • The House at Silvermoor
  • One Day In Summer
  • The Daughter's Promise
  • The House by the Sea
  • This Is Me
  • The Last Day of Winter (A Winter Day Book, #3)
  • Temptation Street
  • His Secret Family
  • Someone Else's Baby
  • The Day She Came Back
See similar books…
International bestseller Carmel Harrington writes issue-driven popular fiction. From Co. Wexford, she lives in a small village with her husband Roger, two children Amelia and Nate, and their rescue dog, George Bailey.

Her uplifting and inspiring books, all regular chart-toppers, have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are translated into eight languages to date, in eleven territories. Pub

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
21 likes · 16 comments