An insightful suspense novel
The Things We Lost Book Cover The Things We Lost
Maggie Giles
Contemporary Women Fiction
Rising Action Publishing Co.
April 19, 2022
Paperback, Kindle

Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Burdened with regret and unhappiness, Maddie wonders how her life could have been different.

The next morning, she wakes up twenty-six years old and in a completely different life. Her daughters don’t exist, her husband is nowhere to be found, and her friend is still alive, four years after her funeral. As Maddie navigates this new world, she realizes she is the product of her own unhappiness. But is this new do-over exactly what she needs, even if it means never seeing her daughters again?

For fans of Amy Impellizzeri's Lemongrass Hope and Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe In Another Life, that will have you wondering, what if?

I expected a sliding doors romance and got a perfect suspense!

I read the melancholic title of this book and the allusion to a sliding doors romance in the description, and I made up my mind about what this book journey would be—a little sad but full of romance and feel-good do-overs. But instead, The Things We Lost by Maggie Giles was full of twists, suspenseful, insightful, and a little dark.

The Things We Lost explores the ripple effect of loss

After doubting her commitment to her husband and a short but emotional affair with her college boyfriend, Maddie is trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She wants to fight for her marriage. However, after a few too many glasses of wine, she wakes up to find that life is no longer there. Instead, she’s back in her mid-twenties and the husband and daughters she resolved to fight for have disappeared.

As Maddie tries to understand this life, she uncovers how her decisions in this timeline led her to her current circumstances. Regrets that have haunted her for years have been undone but have had unforeseen ripple effects on the rest of her life. Maddie hates this new version of her life and who she has become. Can she find a way back to her old self and the ones she loves? Maddie’s turbulent journey through her “now” and the “then” that brought her here will have you gripping your book.

It was hard to put it down

Maggie Giles didn’t waste a single word writing this story. Every single thought and action leads to its beautiful unraveling. And, even though she uses an old trope, the story feels fresh and creative.

If you ever thought about life’s “what ifs,” I recommend reading The Things We Lost. This debut novel by Canadian author Maggie Giles will give you a perspective on how regrets shape the current version of your life and why you can’t pick and choose the consequences of going back and making different choices.