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A Strange Companion

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Kat Richardson isn’t running away from grief; she’s just hiding out in a gloomy Welsh university town until she’s sure it’s gone. Now, one year, nine months, and 27 days after the climbing death of her first love, Gabe, she thinks she’s ready to venture out into the relationship world again. And Owen—a cake-baking, Super Ball-making chemistry student—appears to be a kind, ...more
Kindle Edition
Published April 4th 2017 by Steel Rose Press
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read several books about reincarnation but I have to comment by saying that this book is one of the best ones I have read. It was not just about lost loves or believing but also about life itself. The lesson to take away from this book is "Life is too short, Don't let it pass you by, Savor every moment".

Readers like me did not get to meet Gabe prior to his death. So I did not get to experience his relationship with Kat. Yet, through Mai and Kat's memories of Gabe; I felt like I did get a
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's been a few days since I finished reading this novel, but the characters are still with me. This emotionally-charged story of lost love, family, and the "strange companion" we'll all have to spend time with at some point (or several points) in our lives, explores what it means to let go, and how we can choose to open ourselves to a new chapter in our lives.
Highly recommended for fans of paranormal fiction, and those curious about reincarnation. A must-read for anyone dealing with death and
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017

the bandar blog
June's Once Upon a Book Club box was another fun experience. While the book, A Strange Companion ,was another dud for me, I still enjoyed the heck out of opening all the gifts as I read the story.

dealing with loss, thoughts on reincarnation, and learning to move forward

Rapid Fire Thoughts and Feelings about the Book:
1. I didn't like the main character, Kat. She was impulsive, did incredibly irresponsible things with her niece, and ultimately, her story (the one that the WHOLE BOOK
Rachel - Chocolate and Chapters
Kat has been trying to escape her past for two years, ever since her boyfriend Gabe died in a tragic accident. She has met someone new, but she can't let go of the past. When her brother adopts a two-year-old girl named Mai, Kat goes back to her hometown to meet her. When she meets Mai, she feels a strange, deep connection to her. As if she's met Mai before. She starts to wonder if it's possible that her boyfriend has, in fact, come back to her.

Let me say this first: I have lost someone very
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don’t believe in reincarnation, so I began reading this story holding my Kindle in one hand while nervously fingering the cross of my necklace with the other. The only reason I picked up a book like this is because I have read Lisa’s nonfiction work and know for certain that she can tell an engaging story. I was not disappointed.

A Strange Companion surprised me in so many ways! I didn’t expect a writer who is so relatively new to published fiction to expertly craft such rich descriptions of
Michael Raymond
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone
Letter I was given the opportunity to review Lisa Manterfield’s new novel, A Strange Companion , prior to its release. Before I get to the review, I want to say that I received a complimentary early review copy from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation has been received or implied for this review, nor was I given guidance about review content. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Having said all that, A Strange Companion comes out April 4th. Friends, you want this one.

Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
Thanks to the publicist for the review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.

This has been one of the few books that I've read that has the topic of reincarnation. I did like the story and it did manage to pull off a few tears from me, but there were some points inside the story that did not sit well with me. The one that stood out most in my opinion was that the MC was so shattered from the loss of someone she loved and yet her family failed to help her through the process of resignation. We
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book entertained me that's about it. I'm glad the book ended without concluding if Gabe was reincarnated or if the grief Kat felt was creating a delusion just to keep Gabe near her even after death because she struggled to let him go. I was disturbed that a child was being used this way behind her parents back just to feed in my opinion, Kat's delusional idea that Gabe was Mai. I think the story repeated itself to much but then again that was the idea behind Kat's grief. She couldn't stop ...more
Lesley Pyne
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An incredible debut novel
I've read Lisa's other books and I wasn't sure what to expect from her first fiction.
However she grabbed me in first sentence and I found the book incredibly hard to put down. The central theme is of grieving and getting to a place where we can move on and Lisa takes the reader through this in an incredibly moving and thoughtful way. Having lost close family I could really resonate with Kat and I shed a few tears with her.
A wonderful and really well written debut
Kevin Kern
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book about grief, which does become a strange companion, especially to the teenagers. A young woman begins to believe in reincarnation, possibly because no one has tried to help her cope with her extreme losses. This is worth the read, altho, the girl does get carried away a few times. She has a very difficult time explaining herself and lies quite easily. I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost a loved one or two.
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
This book left me hoping that reincarnation is real. I cried, I laughed, and most often than not I got angry with the choices made by the characters. All in all, this was a well-written story that kept me engaged until the end.

{I requested a copy for review purposes and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.}
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kat is a student at university but she doesn't get back home much. Her boyfriend, Gabe, died unexpectedly nearly two years ago so it's hard for her to go back and face all of the memories that come from being where the two of them shared their lives together. When her brother brings home his adopted daughter Kat finds herself back home for a few weeks. The strange thing is she feels a connection to her new niece, Mai, and thinks she could be Gabe reincarnated.

Yes, I said reincarnated but don't
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but the main character was rather unapproachable and the plot bordered between fantasy and real-life psychological. It needed to pick one and go with it.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Logan LeDuc
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
A very weird and obsessive narrative. Not a big fan of the main character and how selfish she was, especially when those around her were dealing with the same things she was. Instead of leaning on them for strength, she took advantage of them and ended up being very careless and selfish. Not a favorite. Definitely do not recommend.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is really hard to do this story justice. Having lost a significant other in an age similar to Kat, the way this story is written echoes the emotions that I felt. Unfortunately or fortunately, I did not have a Mai. This story is really deep, so if you are looking for a fluff piece, you won’t find it with this book. Now, if you want to have a book hangover and get buried in the feels, grab your tissues and dig in. This story is so worth the tears you will shed.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book introduces you to Kat Richardson, still grieving for Gabe. She only returns to her hometown when her brother's adopted daughter from China arrives.

With A Strange Companion, Lisa Manterfield has created a well elaborated story focussed on Kat and her dealing with grief. It was easy to get into the story; especially if you have lost a dear one, you understand at least some of Kat's take on things. Kat is of sufficient depth, likeable; I had the urge to support her, help her cope. Lisa
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is about how Kat went through a complicated grief process. It was difficult for her to transcend this experience which takes her to believe in reincarnation in order to have explanations that could help her in the healing process. She even put at risk her niece and others which for me was just part of the complicated grief stage she was. Her mood State not only affected her but also those who were near to her. She was very depressed, clinically depressed.

The book was slow. Sometimes I was
I had the hardest time getting into this book. I usually love the books picked by onceuponabookclub but I just wasn't feeling this one. While I didn't really care for the book this paragraph located on page 250&251 really spoke to me: "But grief was a strange companion. It was the friend that made me unhappy, who picked all my sorest spots, who I wished I'd never met. And grief was the friend I went back to over and over and again. It had been easier to learn to live with grief than to break ...more
A Strange Companion by Lisa Manterfield explored the ways that we grieve. It looks different for everybody. There is a comfort in knowing that the ones who love us never truly leave us.

I enjoyed this story even though I am not convinced of the idea of reincarnation. I felt awkward for a lot of the book because I just didn't agree with the thoughts and actions of our protagonist, Kat, and I just wanted her to wake up and understand the ending message--I guess that's the point, though. She was
Maggie BB
I actually would like to give this book 3.5 stars. I really liked it in the beginning, and I liked it quite a bit over all... but about 3/4 way through I started to get really annoyed with Kat.

The story is interesting, well written and well told, but I just felt like when I maybe should have been feeling bad for Kat I more wanted to slap her and that pulled me out of the emotions. I also am on the fence in regards to how I feel about the Owen story line. . . not sure I am happy how that wraps
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was everything I wanted it to be. Beautifully written with stunning imagery, but more than that, the characters were so realistic, especially Kat who was more than human in her response to death. Some of her choices made me cringe and want to hide my eyes as she reaped the consequences, but mostly because it felt like it was happening to me - it was that good. I highly recommend this book. If this was the author’s first book she wrote, I can only imagine how incredible her other books ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I still liked reading about it as a possibility. The main character was written really well. She was trying to move on, but also felt really stuck, and seeing Mai made her feel crazy, but she knew it sounded crazy. I liked that she was trying to explain things away rationally, instead of just taking the crazy side and running with it. She was consistent, without being static. The end felt like it fit well, too. I liked that I ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Marguerite by: Once Upon A Book Club Box
The main character was annoying to me, and I just felt like the story lacked.. I gave up forcing myself to finish it. It was just a little too far out for my taste, with her thinking the adopted baby from China was her old boyfriend who died, reincarnated. I couldn't really get into the story line of this book.
it was an interesting read for sure. monthly pick for the book club. there were times I was mad at some decisions the main character was making, but that happens for me time to time lol. I'm not sure I agreed with everything that happened in the book, and was little frustrated it just ends with not much closure on the new stuff
Gloria Verdino
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It was ok, I enjoyed opening the gifts along with the Once Upon a Book Club package although none of the gifts were really that good. The main character was a bit melodramatic for me and I think I would have preferred the book to go totally in to the paranormal.
Michelle Scott Roark
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have never read a book that I so disagreed with the main character.
Everything she did was in opposite contract to what I would do - what would be the rational thing to do. But I guess that might be the point - but it was very hard to empathize.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different plot that leaves you wondering. It made me cry, which I loved it for, as well as hsted it for it. The ending didn't come together as well as I would have liked, but over all a good summer read.
Lauran Vetuschi
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-books
Parts of the book really fell flat for me, but every time I was thinking of giving up--it got better...and the end was well worth the journey! Don't give up on it--in the end it was well worth the time spent.
Tricia G
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Grief is a strange companion....

If you have ever lost someone close to you, especially a beloved partner, this will touch your heart. Struggling through grief is never easy and we all do it in our own ways. This book is about how Kat does it.
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I’m Lisa Manterfield and I love telling stories.

I’m a curious cat and I’m fascinated by human behavior and what makes people tick.

I love fish-out-of-water stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations, especially if those situations delve into the unexplained.

I love digging up nuggets of history—not the vast sweeping stories of events that changed the world, but the personal stories of
“As skeptical as I was about the reincarnation hypothesis, part of me wanted it to be true. If the people we loved came back to us, then all the tragedy in life might somehow be a little easier to accept.” 1 likes
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