For When I’m Gone

Rebecca Ley


On the surface Sylvia and Paul’s marriage is perfection: she is beautiful, alluringly spiky and brilliantly clever, he is a devoted and doting husband and father to their two young children, Megan and Jude. When Sylvia is diagnosed with terminal cancer at 38, she knows that she must help Paul navigate the chaos of family life in her absence and that the time has come for a secret she has kept from him throughout their marriage to finally be aired. Sylvia starts to write a manual: a guidebook to their shared domesticity. As Paul learns to live and love without Sylvia, he realises the extent of her legacy and finds himself indebted once more to his extraordinary, difficult wife, for saving them from an even greater tragedy.

Available to Order

SKU: 9781409195375 Category: Tag:


‘Wonderfully assured’ THE TIMES
‘Pass the tissues…’ EVENING STANDARD
‘Beautifully written’ THE SUN
‘Prepare for heartbreak’ WOMAN & HOME
‘A beautiful story’ LAURA PEARSON
‘Brilliant’ BELLA

Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…

Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.

So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.

But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…

Praise for For When I’m Gone:

‘Beautifully written, with powerful messages of hope’ KATHERINE WEBB

‘A moving portrait of a modern family in crisis’ FRANCESCA HORNAK

‘Ley took my breath away. Exquisitely written and deeply effective’ KATE WEINBERG

‘Heart-breaking. Beautifully written. Reminded me of Maggie O’Farrell’ REBECCA THORNTON

‘A beautiful, sharply observed tale of motherhood, complicated women and family dynamics’ CHARLOTTE PHILBY

‘Heartbreaking and yet uplifting… Rebecca Ley has written a wonderful debu’t JENNY QUINTANA

‘Rebecca Ley explores the need for love, forgiveness and remembrance that’s within us all’ WOMAN’S WEEKLY

Additional information

Weight0.55 kg
Dimensions23.6 × 15.8 × 3.4 cm