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This Shining Life By Harriet Kline: review


In the wake of her husband’s premature death, Ruth faces the biggest challenge of all – carrying on when the love of her life is gone. And looking after her young son Ollie while managing her eccentric family is just the start.

Trying to deal with her own grief while helping Ollie through his own is no easy task, but Rich’s death also forces Ruth to confront her own childhood; only when she can come to terms with that will she be able to face the journey she’s now on.

Ruth and Ollie’s lives will never be the same again but, together, they can begin to build their new world.

This Shining Life Review

I was Kindly gifted This Shining Life by DoubleDay books in exchange for my honest review. 

I found this to be an incredibly moving portrayal of a family that are struggling to cope after the death of their loved one, Rich. The multiple POV’s for each family member gives us an intimate insight to how each character feels and deals with grief individually. 

I mostly enjoyed reading from the POV o Rich’s son, Ollie, who’s an 11 year old Autistic boy trying to understand the world around him and get his family (who of course are absorbed in there own grief), to listen to his many questions. 

At times I became very frustrated with the rest of the family and just wanted them to stop and understand him. Despite my frustrations, it was heartwarming watching the family learn to be more understanding of each other and come to know that love can come in many forms. 

The Characters are beautifully drawn but each with their flaws. There is a rawness to each of the characters grief, anger, confusion and depression. Harriet Kline expertly highlighted that there are many faces of grief, and that there is no set way to experience it. 

Overall, This Shining Life is a beautiful book that moved me to tears. It’s heartbreaking and a difficult read, but This Shining Life is also an uplifting exploration of how a family can learn to move on after experiencing a loss. 

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