Elsie Porter is a newlywed, dazzled with love for her new husband Ben Ross. The two are basking in the glow of their six-month, whirl-wind romance and marriage…and then Ben is killed in a car crash.
Elsie’s world is shattered. Suddenly she is not a bride but a widow, her grief at her lost future enormous. She also finds that her legitimacy to grieve Ben, and to make decisions about his affairs, is challenged by those who knew him longer — namely Ben’s mother, Susan — or those who feel her pain is disproportionate to the time she spent with Ben. It is as if her love with Ben has been erased from the earth, with only her left to have witnessed it.
So Elsie must work her way through her heartache and loneliness with only one friend to care for her. Her situation quickly wears on her colleagues and acquaintances, who all seem to want for her to get over Ben and get back to her “normal” life. But Elsie knows that her normal life is gone, and her new life will be slow to start.
The story has Elsie not healing by finding a new romance (as chick lit often does), but by following the advice of a widow who has experience in the process: Ben’s mother, Susan.
Susan has reached out to make amends after the horrible way she treated Elsie; namely denying her marriage to Ben and forbidding from being part of the funeral since neither she nor any of Ben’s family had ever even met her. Elsie is skeptical of Susan’s motives, but feels drawn to the only person on earth who seems to miss Ben as much as she does; a woman (it turns out) who has some very wise advice for a new widow trying to put her life back together.
A very sweet, non-traditional romance novel — the romance takes place completely in flashbacks — but also a good story of women helping one another through a crisis.