By: Katy Collins
Izzy is a new mother who feels lost and alone. Arthur is an 85-year-old man who is alone after losing his wife. These two characters shape The Best is Yet to Come in a heartwarming, light-hearted and emotional novel. This book includes many serious topics such as suicide, postpartum depression, grief and loss.
“No one told her it was going to be this hard”.
Izzy never expected to find motherhood so difficult. As a new mom, she feels alone, overwhelmed and exhausted. She never expresses this out loud in fear of what others would think of her. As well, her husband has become more absent as he dives further into his work and continues to socialize with his friends. He doesn’t seem to notice the hardship Izzy is experiencing, which doesn’t provide her with a safe space to express herself.
When Izzy was young, her mother passed away. Since becoming a mother herself, she is constantly reminded of this loss. As well, her father isn’t around to fill the void as he seems to have separated himself from his daughter after the loss of his wife. Izzy was very close with her grandparents, but sadly they have also passed. It seems Izzy has led a somewhat secluded life, and it becomes clear she doesn’t have many friends either. This lack of social circle further exasperates her loneliness.
Arthur was married to his wife, Pearl, for over sixty years. They lived all those years together in the same house, the house Arthur now lives in alone. When we are introduced to Arthur, it has been almost two years since the passing of his wife. Arthur has not allowed himself to move on from his grief, only pushing himself further into a deep depression. His closest family member, his nephew Jeremy, tries to provide some comfort and companionship to Arthur; however, Arthur continues to push Jeremy away. After Arthur has a big fall, Jeremy insists that it is time to sell his home and move into a retirement facility. Arthur doesn’t want to leave the home he shared with Pearl but reluctantly conceded. Meanwhile, he creates a different plan for himself called ‘Operation Pearl’.
As previously mentioned, Arthur has a big fall alone in his home. His only potential of being saved is if someone comes and checks on him. Izzy, who is up in the middle of the night with Evie again, notices something wrong in Arthur’s house. When she checks on him, she sees him lying unconscious on the floor; immediately, she calls an ambulance. This is how the two main characters of The Best is Yet to Come meet.
“There were some people you never stopped loving and missing.”
Katy Collins writes a heartwarming, emotional story that holds the reader close from the first chapter. Izzy’s experience of becoming a new mom resonates with many. I know I experienced some similar emotions; however, unlike Izzy, I was fortunate to have a large supportive family and network of friends, so I can only imagine how much harder it would be to go through it alone.
I really liked Izzy’s character, but I think there were too many pieces to her story. She had lost her mother when she was young; her father was not present in her life and seemingly didn’t care for his granddaughter. She was close with her grandparents, but they have also passed, and she didn’t have any friends besides one work colleague. I found this to be a bit much. I’m sure some women could have similar stories, but I would like to think that most new moms have at least one family or friend in their life outside of their partner.
Arthur was an incredibly lovable character. Despite his grumpiness, you felt his love and warmth in each chapter you read. He loved his wife so deeply that he truly struggled to think of life without her, preventing himself from having any happiness in his life. His constant confusion with technology was amusing, and it instantly made me think of my grandparent’s bewildered faces anytime someone describes any piece of technology to them. His reluctance to ask for any help, to admit in any way that he was getting older and needed support, was endearing. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to grow old and not be able to do the things you have been doing all your life.
It was great following the journey of Izzy and Arthurs friendship. Reading how Arthur’s fondness and love towards Evie grew into a grandparent-like relationship was precious. I loved how much Izzy and Arthur filled each other’s voids; it was heartwarming and emotional. I can only hope that any seniors feeling this type of loneliness can come across their Izzy and find a new thirst for life.
“He’d heard people say that life is like a good book. Even though you know that at some point the story is going to end, you keep turning the pages wanting to see how it all works out.”
About the Author:
Katy Colins has a pretty unique story. She began writing after being jilted before her wedding day. She left home, backpacking around the world and became a viral travel blogger. She was called ‘The Backpacking Bridget Jones’ by many. After her blogging journey, she became a writer, writing The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series. She has written three other books since then. As a blogger, her story is an inspiration.