The Key To My Heart by Lia Louis is poignant and hopeful. In a tragic instant, Natalie’s life changed when her husband was in an accident that ultimately took his life. This is the story of Natalie’s journey as a widow, as she struggles to exist in a world that has moved on without him.
This book is part of My Winter 2023 Reading List.
It’s been more than two years since Natalie’s husband, Russ, was hit by a car one morning as he was riding his bike to work. Everyone around her seems to have been able to move on, yet Natalie still can’t seem to pick up the pieces of her life. Her heart is broken and she feels lost. Once a musician, she now just sometimes plays the piano at a London train station. She’s most at peace during her regular visits to her Russ’s graveside. When sheet music to her Russ’s favorite songs mysteriously start appearing at the public piano she plays at, she immediately thinks it might be from him. As more sheet music appears at the piano on different days, the more Natalie wants to solve the mystery. Who is leaving her music? Is it really from Russ?
As difficult as life is for Natalie, she is not alone. She has a support system of friends who have been there for her through the worst moments and have tried helping her move on. She also meets Tom, and his wit and unrelenting support are exactly what she needs. Add to that Shauna (owner of the coffee shop Natalie frequents) and Joe (experiencing grief himself). Everyone is there for Natalie as she struggles with guilt, second guessing, and if only moments.
This story offers a 360° view of grief. From its effect on the lives of those grieving, to the impact to those close to them, to the expectations for moving forward. It’s a raw look into letting go of the past, especially after learning a painful truth after Russ’s death. Too dark? Not all. The storyline is well-balanced with humor, great banter, and hopeful moments. Loss and grief are a big part of this story, but as heavy as those themes are it never felt dark or overwhelming.
This is now my favorite book by this author. It’s both heartbreaking and uplifting, and I loved every part of it. The characters were witty, caring, and relatable. Even more, I loved how well the storyline balanced grief, mystery, and growth. What a truly memorable and relatable story that will stay with me for a long time. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. If you can, listen to the audiobook. It truly makes the story feel captivating and real.
Have you enjoyed this story too?