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The Coordinates of Loss

Posted on September 27, 2018

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.


Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
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Powerful, Emotional and Utterly Heart-Stopping

The Coordinates of Loss is the 25th work of fiction produced by Amanda Prowse in the 6 years since her debut. Now, most people would look at that statistic and wonder how on earth that is possible. But despite the high number, Amanda is not stopping there. This is the 4th out of 5 books she had scheduled for publication this year alone. I always find it utterly remarkable, that despite the sheer volume Amanda manages to write, that each and every book seems to pull emotions out of me that I never saw coming.

Just when I thought I had cried my last Prowse tear, she put pen to paper once more and drew every last breath from my body with her latest. The Coordinates of Loss is one of the most effortlessly written but thought-provoking books I have had the pleasure to read this year. Before I go into the details of the book, take a look at the blurb.

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About the Book:

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.

In the dark and desperate days that follow, Rachel struggles to navigate her grief. And while her husband, James, wants them to face the tragedy together, Rachel feels that the life they once shared is over. Convinced that their happy marriage is now a sham, and unable to remain in the place where she lost her son, she goes home to Bristol alone.

Only when she starts receiving letters from Cee-Cee, her housekeeper in Bermuda, does light begin to return to Rachel’s soul. She and James both want to learn to live again—but is it too late for them to find a way through together?


Amanda’s books are like the “bad boys” of literature for me. I know they are going to break my heart, make me sob into the morning hours and pray for my mum to hold me… but I keep going back for more. Why? Because the memories I make with each and every one stick! And they are worth every tear.

The Coordinates of Loss is no different.

Each time I sit down to read one of Amanda’s books, I mentally prepare myself.

My preparation this time was slightly different. This time I did not pour myself a large pot of tea and curl up with my favourite blanket and pack of tissues, I wanted to try something a little different.

I had just relocated from the cold dark shores of Copenhagen to the warmer climes of Southern Spain. In my mind, I was convinced that if I lay in the sun, with the mediterranean sea sparkling just beyond the edge of my hammock, that the warm golden rays would dry any tears that threatened to burst through before they hit my cheeks. Oh my lord, how wrong I was.

Living on the surface of the sun would not have dried these tears, and the sapphires that shone on the waves in front of me only aided my transportation to the shores of Bermuda, where I sat on the sandy shores holding the shaking shoulders of a mother grieving. I felt my hand in Rachels as she wept, could see the fear and pain etched on her face and I caught my breath every single time she spoke with James, praying that their mutual grief would find them come back to a place of love and support.

As a mother, the idea behind this book is terrifying. The very thought that you could wake one day and your only child is just gone… without a trace. No reason, no explanation. No closure. That alone will grip your heart. But the intricacies of this story really elevate the emotion. The love between Rachel and James, the compassion and love shown by their housekeeper and friend Cee-Cee, each element in this beautifully crafted story etches their lives onto your heart.

There is such an incredibly fine line between happiness and desperate heartbreak, life is so incredibly delicate and your future can change as quickly as the wind. The Coordinates of Loss really does explore this idea. The very fact that you can be blissfully happy and then so desperately numb with pain in the blink of an eye.

Each of Amanda’s books explore aspects of human life and emotion that we often keep hidden. Fears we dare not utter and hopes we are scared to admit, Rachel and James themselves embody so many of these throughout the book. Each of their characters on separate rollercoaster rides through grief and each hurtling towards a different final destination.

Can they find a way back to each other? Is that even what they want? Can grief bring us back together or push us irreparably further apart. At the very end of the day, when you are laying in a cold bed filled with nothing but tears and desperation, whose words will pull you away from the darkness?

One of the things I love most about Amanda’s books is that they are hopelessly real.

In this story, we are allowed to witness what feels like the most intimate diaries of a loved one, not a romance novel set to transport us to another world – but a vehicle to help us, the readers, explore our own fears through the safety of the pain drawn from the characters on the page. It truly is a skill that can not be taught but given by the gods.

Amanda has a way with words, that much is clear, but the way she sculpts the world on the pages of her books leaves a scar on your heart each and every time.

She may be 25 books in, but I hope she doesn’t stop any time soon. I may gush and gush about this novel, and indeed about most of Amanda’s work – but if there is one thing you should take away from this review, it is this…

…You will never truly understand the rollercoaster of emotions a book can take you on until you pick up one of her books.

If you are looking for a read that will test your emotions at the same times as transporting you to an exotic location that warms your toes as you wipe tears from your eyes, look no further than The Coordinates of Loss.

And stock up – or take out shares in Kleenex. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

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