The Life Intended

The Life Intended

From the author of the international bestseller The Sweetness of Forgetting, named one of the Best Books of Summer 2012 by Marie Claire magazine, comes a captivating novel about the struggle to overcome the past when our memories refuse to be forgotten.

In this richly told story where Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You, Kristin Harmel weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past?

After her husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, Kate Waithman never expected to be lucky enough to find another love of her life. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle to a perfectly nice man. So why isn’t she more excited?

At first, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she’s really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476754154 | 
  • December 2014


"The Life Intended" single: Addie for Kristin Harmel

The single based on internationally bestselling novelist Kristin Harmel's THE LIFE INTENDED, a P.S. I Love You-meets-Sliding Doors love story. Arranged and performed by Addie for Kristin.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Life Intended includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Kate Waithman thought she would only have one great love—her perfect husband, Patrick. But when Patrick is tragically killed in a car accident, Kate prepares for a life that is forever incomplete. Twelve years later, Kate has built an impressive career as a music therapist and is finally ready to move on with her fiancée, Dan. Soon after their engagement, however, Kate starts to have startlingly vivid dreams about the life she would have had if Patrick survived. Even more troubling, some of the details in these dreams begin to translate to real life. There is only one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit: a daughter, Hannah, a prodigious piano player who is hard of hearing.

As Kate struggles to decipher her dreams, she finds herself wondering if her dream life is better than her reality. When she enrolls in a sign language class, she finds herself drifting farther away from Dan and closer to her charming instructor, Andrew. Finally, Kate realizes that she needs to make an impossible choice: cling to a lost past, or embrace a new future. see more

Articles About This Book

More Books from this Author

Read more about this book

About the Author

Kristin Harmel
Photography by Robin Gage

Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting, and has also written four previous women’s fiction novels, as well as two young adult novels. Her work has been featured in People, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets. She lives in Orlando, Florida.