How to Save a Life by S D Robertson


You can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain…

When a stranger saves Luke’s life, he knows he’s been given a second chance. He’s going to make it count – and, determined to live each day to its fullest, he starts by saying yes to everything life has to offer.

Slowly but surely, Luke learns that a little bit of blue-sky thinking can go a long way, and things start to look up.

But when Luke’s new resolve is tested, will he return to his old ways? Or can one fateful moment truly save a life.

A life-affirming story about a man who is given a second chance, perfect for fans of Mike Gayle and Imogen Clark.

How to Save a Life is one of the oldest books on my NetGalley shelf. It has sat there far too long, since 2020. It’s the second book I’ve read by S D Robertson (the first was If Ever I Fall), which is why I requested it. It’s an emotional story, character driven, narrated solely by Luke, a barber, with a pessimistic outlook on life. His parents died in a tragic accident, then just a fortnight before Christmas his wife told him she’d been having an affair and left him. He is wallowing in misery, living alone with his cat, Alfred. Until he meets Iris. They were both sheltering from a sudden storm under scaffolding when a violent gust brought the building and scaffolding down on them – Luke survived, but Iris didn’t. She had saved his life, pushing him out of the way as the scaffolding collapsed.

Iris’s death has a powerful effect on Luke, especially when he learns what a wonderful person she was – a doctor who was passionate about volunteering her services for a charity scheme in Africa. He felt guilty that he had survived and vowed to change his outlook and his life, trying to be more like Iris.

This book is not my usual choice of genre, but I think it is an interesting book that did give me food for thought. I liked the setting in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and I could easily visualise Luke’s barber’s shop and its surroundings. However, it is repetitive as Luke analyses his feelings and actions over and over again, and it’s slow paced because of that. He has several setbacks as things don’t all turn out how he had hoped, but it is a heart-warming story, if a little predictable.

My thanks to Avon, the publishers for a review copy via NetGalley.

  • ASIN: ‎ B07Z4BBBF9
  • Publisher ‏: ‎ Avon (11 Jun. 2020)
  • Print length: 397 pages
  • Review copy
  • My rating : 3*