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

If You Were Here

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  548 ratings  ·  88 reviews
‘I can toast to my future, but the thundercloud over my head, the threat of a storm, will follow me like a shadow wherever I go. The truth is, I have a potential bomb in my bag, and who knows when or where it will go off’
When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Simon Schuster UK
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 If You Were Here, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about If You Were Here

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  548 ratings  ·  88 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of If You Were Here
Ivana - Diary of Difference
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

(This image has been taken from Alice Peterson's Website)

DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT read “If You Were Here” in public. People will ask you why you’re crying and you won’t know what to say.

“If You Were Here” by Alice Peterson is an emotional story about Huntington’s Disease, a disease that affects your brain & movements and it gets worse as it progresses, without any cure for it yet.

Peggy has lost her husband to this disease, and now her daug
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding out in your 20's that you could be genetically predisposed to Huntington's is a devastating situation to be in, finding out that the people you love have kept this from you is unthinkable - this happened to Flo and led her on a journey of discovery; about her grandparents, her mother, her fiance and friends but most of all about herself.

Told from three perspectives, Flo herself, her grandmother Peggy and through reading the diaries of her dead mother Beth, If You Were Here is a moving a
Karen Whittard
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Note to everyone DO NOT read this on the bus. 🙈🙈. People will look at you extremely weirdly as you are reading with tears pouring down your face and you will just look very weird. 🙈🙈.

Onto a series note thou. In this book we meet the lovely Peggy who has certainly been through the ringer in her life. Her husband whom she loving was the carer for sadly passed away from Huntington’s. If that wasn’t bad enough her husband unwittingly passed the genetic condition onto their daughter Beth. Who also d
Rachel Gilbey
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just wow, I knew Alice Peterson was a fabulous writer, but this may just be my new favourite book from her, although A Song For Tomorrow is still one of my favourites.

This is certainly a thought provoking and emotional book - there were tears pricking my eyes at various points of this. If I was in Flo's situation I honestly don't know what I would do.

It's a fascinating look a one specific genetic condition, that doesn't have huge amounts of awareness, and raises all manner of questions. I thin
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"If You Were Here", another life - affirming story by Alice Peterson, introduces us to three generations of women. Peggy lost her husband to Huntington's Disease, after years of caring for him and watching him deteriorate, both mentally and physically. Her daughter Beth, who we hear from through her diary entries after learning that she's dead, following a road accident 5 years ago, was aware that her chances of inheriting the disease was fifty - fifty and who has done the test but kept it in se
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since discovering Alice Peterson a few years ago, I've fallen in love with every single book she has written. Her stories always make me cry but she always manages to make me feel better about life. I absolutely loved her last book, A Song for Tomorrow, so my expectations for this one were really high. But Alice Peterson did not disappoint at all, If You Were Here is a stunning story that stole my heart.

This story is about Flo who has lost both her mother and her grand-father but who doesn't kn
Philippa Mckenna
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
This book had been talked about so much in my online book club, TBConFB, that I just had to try it. I bought it in a large, well known 'orange' supermarket for the absolute bargain price of £2.99, so was already off to a great start!

The book itself is told through the perspectives of Granny Peg (who I absolutely loved to bits), her granddaughter Flo, and Flo's mum, Beth.

Granny Peg's husband, Tim, died of Huntingdon's Disease, which is a genetic disease that can be passed on through families an
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
It was back in 2017 when I read Alice Peterson’s last novel A Song For Tomorrow, so I was more than a little excited when I heard about If You Were Here and saw that gorgeous cover! As soon as I read the blurb, I just knew that this was my type of book; you know that little feeling you get when you just know for certain a novel is made for you – all those little elements you love: life changing decisions, over coming adversity, family secrets (and knowing Alice Peterson, a splash of romance thro ...more
Cassandra MADEUP BookBlog
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my first read by this Author, it certainly won’t be my last though. The first thing I will say, is that I am glad I read this at home because for parts I was a blubbering mess. You’ve been warned. This is a beautiful, honest, heart wrenching story that will twist and turn your insides while you devour each page like a literature starved beast.

Seriously. Tissues, comfort food and endless cups of tea of hot chocolate at the ready, snuggle in with a thick jumper in front of an open fire,
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Being a nurse myself, this is not an entirely new subject matter to me. Having come across similar scenarios in real life, I often find myself contemplating what I would do in such circumstances. The story explores the ripple effect of a life changing diagnosis, in that it can affect many people, not just the individual involved.
In this book we meet host of characters. The story unfolds through the voices of three generations of the same family. Peggy is an elderly woman who spent many years sel
Book-shelf Shelf
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Peggie is lovely Grandmother to Flo, who is getting ready to start a new life with her fiance in New York. Peggie need to tell Flo before she heads off for her new life, but Peggie is worried about the reaction Flo might have. Flo is excited to be leaving her job and starting a whole new life with Theo. She is going to miss her friends and granny... but is exited to be going to the Big Apple.
Alice Peterson has not written in a while but she has turned out a pure belter with this one. She has ta
Abi Whitehouse
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! I was expecting a lot from the story since the blurb reminded me of previous books such as “Me before you” and “One Day”.

This is a story written from three perspectives and that makes it so much more involved. The chapters are also short, which means you really feel like they are interlocking snapshots of the respective characters lives.

The medical side of it is done incredibly well and covers a really interesting period of time for Huntington’s. Going from when it h
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbc-reviews
This was the first time I had read anything by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. From the first page, I was captured by the beautiful writing and how relatable the characters are.

It is told from three perspectives, initially through Flo and her grandmother Peggy and later on by Beth’s mother through her diary as she has recently passed away. Flo is about to move to New York with her fiancé Theo, but before she leaves Peggy feel she needs to tell her granddaughter a secret that she
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2020
This is a wonderful book. Told from two points of view: that of Flo, who is 27 and about to go to New York for a year, and her grandmother Peggy, who is close to 80. Peggy's husband and daughter had Huntington's Disease, and it's an even chance that Flo may have inherited it...

This is a character-based story, showing the importance of family life, of supportive friendships, and of unconditional love. It's somewhat educational about this genetic syndrome too, but so well done that it didn't feel
Odette Lattimer
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt Storyline

What a truly amazing storyline. This is the first book I have read by this author and I am someone who has a chronic condition.

This is a heartfelt story about a chronic and life debilitating illness and a family who are destroyed by it. The characters are so believable, I adore Peggy and Flo. The story line is emotional and truly believable. As the story line unfolded, I could feel the lump in my throat growing until it just broke me inside.

This is a must read.

Gail Atkins
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG Alice Peterson has done it again!! What an amazing story about a chronic and life debilitating illness. The characters are so believable. The story line is amazing. As the story line unfolds you feel you are being pulled into their lives. Every character feels so real.
Amanda Brooke
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alice Peterson has written an unforgettable emotional rollercoaster of a book. A moving tale told with sensitivity without holding back on the heartbreak, the fear and ultimately the courage to deal with a devastating diagnosis.
Mrs V Chubb
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Oh my goodness, i haven’t been able to put this book down. It’s had me in tears several times. Can’t praise it enough
Susans bookworld
l loved reading this book ive never heard of this author before i got to read this,icould put it down it took me 5 days to read thats how much i really enjoyed it .
i will be definetely reading more from this author
Claire Sinclair
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It meant even more as I had just ran the London marathon before I read it.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible book.
I would highly recommend this. The characters were so real, I felt I knew them and the story took me on the journey with them, the highs and the lows and the laughter and tears.... and I definitely shed some real ones.
One of my favourite books ever.
Charlie Ryan
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an emotional read. HD is in my family (distantly) and it really brought it home to me the emotional side of diagnosis as well as the physical side. Well written and tear-jerking.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant story with characters you really care about. It really makes you think about what you'd do in a situation like that. Not only that but how it affects the people close to you. ...more
Karen Woodhouse
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very thought provoking. Made you wonder what you would do.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book and learned so much about Huntington’s disease.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Peggy Andrews lives with her husband and daughter. Hers is a very happy marriage and their daughter Beth is the icing on the cake. She is wonderful in every way: all they could have dreamed for. They live life to the full, making loads of happy memories. When her husband first becomes ill the symptoms are only mild. But inevitably it becomes more of a concern when his condition deteriorates. He has Huntington's disease, also known as Huntington's chorea, which is an inherited disorder that resul ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the start of 'If You Were Here', we are introduced to Peggy Andrews, who is struggling with a moral dilemma. Her husband died of Huntington's disease, a rare genetic disorder that has a 50/50 chance of being passed onto a child. Peggy was terrified at the thought that her daughter Beth may have the condition, and so, when the opportunity for genetic testing was offered, she begged her not to have the test, preferring to live in hope instead of fear.

Years later, Beth dies in a sudden acciden

When I say prepare yourself I am not joking, I was a mess reading this one!

This is a story about a lovely family, we have Granddad Tim, Granny Peggy, Mummy Beth, and Baby Flo.

Flo (Florence) is all grown up now, and she's had to grow up pretty fast, her mother died when she was relatively young, and she was brought up by her Granny, they have a really close bond, and they love each other fiercely.

Peggy's husband Tim died when Flo was young so she didn't really know hi
Hazel Edwards
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Few novels explore health as a genetic drama. 'If You Were Here' is a three generational story of the impact of possible genetic inheritance of HD on the grand-daughter Flo , mother Beth and grandfather's carer, his wife Peggy. The dilemma is whether the grand daughter should opt for the genetic test after the knowledge of her grandfather's difficult decline and her mother's death (by accident but with some possible contributing HD symptoms) and the likelihood Flo is a carrier. If so, should she
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

‘I can toast to my future, but the thundercloud over my head, the threat of a storm, will follow me like a shadow wherever I go. The truth is, I have a potential bomb in my bag, and who knows when or where it will go off’

When her daughter Beth dies suddenly, Peggy Andrews is left to pick up the pieces and take care of her granddaughter Flo. But sorting through Beth’s things reveals a sec
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One Winter Morning
  • Unexpected Lessons in Love
  • A Million Dreams
  • Living My Best Life
  • The Dead Wife's Handbook
  • 99 Days With You
  • The Day We Meet Again
  • We Met in December
  • Every Colour of You
  • A Thousand Roads Home
  • The Love Child
  • Somewhere Close to Happy
  • The Minute I Saw You
  • The Family Holiday
  • Found
  • If You Could Go Anywhere
  • Betray Her
  • Messy, Wonderful Us
See similar books…
At the age of eighteen Alice had been awarded a tennis scholarship to America when she experienced pain in her right hand. It was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and she hasn’t picked up a tennis racket since, a sadness that shall always be with her. The theme of disability features in her fiction, but there is nothing gloomy about Alice or her work. Rather this gives her fiction the added dimension of ...more

Related Articles

It's time to get in that last stretch of winter reading and prepare our Want to Read shelves for spring. Luckily for us, February brings a...
45 likes · 10 comments
“I catch a glimpse of the journalist and writer, Bryony Gordon, running in her underwear. In many ways I envy how much cooler she must feel, though it’s still brave of her to be wearing nothing but a pair of black knickers and a bra. I love her spirit; how she raises awareness around mental health and body image. It’s only now that I see what a waste of time it is to obsess over such things. It’s about being alive, taking risks, and being happy with ourselves – inside and out – that’s what really matters.” 0 likes
More quotes…