Irreplaceable is author Stephen Lovely’s debut novel and tells the story of thirty year old archeologist, Alex Voormann, who attempts to move on after the death of his botanist wife, Isabel. The death of Isabel, an organ donor, had meant a life saved….the life of Janet Corcoran, a young, headstrong mother of two, an art teacher at an inner-city school in Chicago. While Janet’s family celebrates, Alex mourns this terrible tragedy.
Irreplaceable focuses on what happens after the transplant – particularly the effect of Janet’s effort to contact Isabel’s family to thank them. Much to my surprise, Isabel’s mother, Bernice welcomes Janet with open arms but Alex was reluctant to embrace the woman who was now carrying his wife’s heart, which I thought was pretty justifiable.
I felt the earlier part of the novel dragged on for quite a bit but being a person who has already pledged to be an organ donor, I was intrigued by the story because it was told from both perspectives – the donor’s family as well as the recipient’s side. Irreplaceable also gives me a better understanding of the whole organ donation and transplant process, without going into too much details.
A point that readers may like to note – there are some profanity used in the book so, some of you may prefer to skip it. Otherwise, as a debut novel, this heart wrenching tale about love, loss and learning to live again will make a great addition to any home library.
Check out what the rest on our PR Team had to say about this novel:
Life Starring Ellie and Eve – I am really glad I had the opportunity to read it since it is a well written, compelling, and an overall wonderful book. I mentioned that Lovely wrote the book from many different perspectives, and that did throw me off for a bit. It took some time to get use to that writing style, but once I did, it made the novel seem more real and helped me connect with the characters in a more personal fashion. The characters had the same emotions and feelings that I imagine a great many people do when faced with similar events; there are times when I wanted to tell them to “pull it together” or to “take a chance and embrace the opportunity” and there were other times when I just wanted to be able to offer support. A good writer knows how to make the reader want to interact with the characters he or she created, and Lovely did just that in Irreplaceable.
The Power of Housewife – Irreplaceable is a good book and the story line is not to complex. The characters are well-fleshed out and I really enjoy Janet. I recommend this book for those who are fans of Nicholas Sparks novels. You will not be disappointed with this book.
As They Grow Up – Irreplaceable is a book that is about Organ donation, the emotional obstacles that the surviving loved ones may feel and/or have to go through. The more I read this book, the better it go. Once I was able to start to feel connected with the characters.
Contests And Giveaways – I really enjoyed this book. I had tears in my eyes at times, and a smile on my face at other times. Mr. Lovely has a way of writing that I really liked-he pulls you in & you truly feel like you are part of the story. Every sentence made me think-what if that happened to me? Would I do the same thing or would I handle it differently? And almost always the answer was-I’d handle it like the characters in the book do…and that shows me that Mr. Lovely really understands human nature and the human condition.
Moms Take On Things – Irreplaceable is an emotional story, but a very moving and thought-provoking one. It’s one of those books that continues to occupy your mind even after you’ve finished it and truly makes you think hard about what you want to happen if this issue were to ever touch your life in any way.
Mott’s Island – Great read. Very nice if you have some spare quiet time and some nice hot tea/coffee by your side. The details make you want to read it word-for-word (I tend to speed read -ha ha! ), so, yes, a leisurely time is highly required.
She Scribes – This story broke my heart. I really felt the pain that Alex was feeling. I could not imagine (nor would I want to!) being in his shoes and having to deal with such a great loss.
I found the experience with the whole organ donation process addressed in the book very interesting too. I have signed my driver’s license to be an organ donor, and I have expressed that interest to my husband too. Even though it’s a selfless thing to do I never really thought about those left behind and how they feel knowing that their loved one is gone but others get to live thanks to the gift of life.
My Three Wiseman – This was a good book. It was indeed a break from the books I read most of the time. It did have some harsh language and I didn’t really like the way Christianity was addressed a few times. But aside from that, over all it was a well written story that kept me wanting to turn the next page.
Three Different Directions – I personally was amazed at the understanding the author had for the heart recipient. The woman’s emotions, the way she deals with them, and interacts with those around her, were incredibly believable.
I was also surprised at the ability with which he incorporated humor into the story. The subject itself is one that does not invoke images of laughter, yet his ability to weave the light heartedness in with the sorrowful was seamless.
Jo Jo’s Place – This story was wonderfully written. I loved knowing the emotions behind being a donor and what life is like for the ones that are the recipients. Although Isabel’s emotions were not visible her husbands and mothers were. You got to read two different sides, one being her husbands who didn’t enjoy the fact that his wife was a donor and her mother who kept joy in knowing that her daughters heart was out there in the world.
All Because Two People Fell In Love – Irreplaceable is a very emotional story. This book truly leaves you with something to think about! A lot of people sign the back of their license to become an organ donor and don’t really think twice about it. This heart wrenching book explores how being an organ donor can impact the lives of many individuals. As I was reading the book I experienced many different emotions. With Lovely’s in-depth character analysis I was really able to relate to the characters in this novel.
Connie’s View – Irreplaceable taught me about how death changes people’s lives in so many ways, how people are brought together or torn apart, and how people react differently to it.
The characters are real. Their emotions are raw. I was able to feel and understand all of them. I may not have agreed with them, but the author Stephen Lovely portrayed them so that their voices were heard.
Sewing Mom – Irreplaceable is a touching story of how the death of a soul mate and best friend affects not only those who knew her, but also those who had never even met her. This story took me through every emotion imaginable including shock, sorrow, sadness, healing, love and the strength of family.
Sweet N Sassy Girls – It is basically a story about a heart transplant and everyone who was involved with it. At times it somewhat reminded me of the movie Return to Me, with Minnie Driver, but at others it was completely different.
Is It Bedtime Yet? -At first I thought that this book would be hard to read with the emotional content. It really isn’t. It wasn’t overly emotional although you can’t help but feel sympathy for the characters. The writer makes it very easy to understand all sides of the situation and all the feelings associated with it. It was easy to read and you can tell the author did his research. I came away with a greater respect for the families who donate a loved ones organs and also bigger happiness for the one on the receiving end.
Sassy Irish Lassie – Irreplaceable is impeccably written and provides true and honest emotions without being overly sappy. It is definitely a book worth reading! Put it on your nightstand today!
Rambling Moo – I found this a really interesting novel seeing the detailed perspective of the different characters and their emotions from both sides of the transplant. It is like I am watching a movie!
One House Schoolroom Reviews – Stephen Lovely brings life to the sterile, cold world of transplants as he thoughtfully weaves the tales of these two families together, forever connected in love and heartache and he truly captures the depth of emotions that spawn from the loss of one beautiful life allowing another the chance to live.
Lather.Rinse.Repeat – If you’re just starting from scratch, I did quite enjoy Lovely’s attention to character development and really exploring in detail the emotional journey the characters take in the story. He has taken something that seems so abstract to the rest of us who’ve never made a choice about organ donation and examined how it affects all parties. But in a way that pulls at the heart-strings…no pun intended.
Wesnlani – I cried a lot while reading this book. It was an emotional ride from cover to cover. It caused me to think a lot about what my choice of being an organ donor would do to my family and those I left behind. After reading this book I realized it’s not as simple and straight forward as you might think.
A Little Bliss – I found the author’s descriptive writing style and depth of characters to be excellent, and although I felt the excessive use of profanity and physical situations to be detracting, I enjoyed Lovely’s ability to build a personal connection between each character and the reader. The multi-faceted way in which the novel develops is handled with a seamless flow, never underscoring the constant theme that love, above all things, endures in many forms and that the beauty of life is rich, sweet, painful and irreplaceable.
Chefdruck Writes – Reading Irreplaceable has spurred me to act. Stephen Lovely’s novel, Irreplaceable, takes the reader deep into the aftermath of organ donation. The novel opens with a young woman enjoying a vigorous bike ride, looking forward to getting home to her husband. She never makes it home as she is run over by an SUV at the crest of a hill. Although she was only in the book for a few pages, her vitality as she pumps the pedals of the bike remained with me until the last page.
Happy Healthy Families – I absolutely loved this book. It delves into human nature in such an honest way. Believe me when I say that it is one of those books that you find very difficult to put down. You wil carry the characters with you in your thoughts throughout the day until you can pick it up again and continue reading. You will find yourself agreeing, questioning, and disagreeing with actions and thoughts of the characters.
Cutie Bootie Reviews – Although this book has moments of melancholy, I believe that the story was tastefully executed and was not overly melodramatic. This debut novel by Stephen Lovely is certainly worth reading. The intertwining lives of the characters will keep you engrossed in the story.
Short Pump Preppy – If your lives have ever been touched by organ donation, this novel will truly touch your heart. I remember the day I got the letter stating that transplanting my mother’s corneas gave sight to two people…and I cried. I can only imagine the power that donating a life saving organ would have on someone…forever.
Mommy Goggles – I will be honest and tell you that I am not finished reading, but with the position that I am at in the book, it has me intrigued as to what is going to happen in the end after an organ transplant, not only to Alex (husband of the donor) but also Janet (the organ recipient). We all take life lightly and this book, Irreplaceable, helps puts perspective back in to our hearts. An organ donor can put so much impact in ones’ life and this is just what Stephen Lovely brings out in his characters in this book.
A Pregnant Pause – Thank you, Stephen Lovely, for writing this beautiful novel. Reading your book has also helped me in the healing process of saying good bye to and remembering my dear father.
Mid Life Musings – Irreplaceable is well written, the characters are fully formed, very human, and the events are realistic, even in their unfathomableness. On the surface, it’s the story of an organ donor and what happens to her heart, but that short description doesn’t do the book justice. It is intensely emotional, and I cried when I read the last sentence: that’s just how they say hello.