Wednesday 25 February 2015

Review - Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Title: Before I Go
Author: Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: January 6, 2015 

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

If you were to rate books like they rate storms or earthquakes, this would be a Category Five, 9.0 on the Richter scale of ugly cry books. I knew by reading the synopsis it was going to make me emotional but I wasn't quite prepared for the emotional punch-to-the-gut of Before I Go. I pretty much cried the entire way through this book.
Daisy Richmond is dying. Cancer. Everywhere. Her husband is on the cusp of finishing a double doctorate program, but he can barely take care of himself. Daisy decides it's a brilliant idea to help him find a new wife for after she's gone. Taking trips to bookstores, dog parks, anywhere she can think of where Jack's next ideal mate may be. Finally she finds someone. The perfect woman to step into her shoes and be Jack's next wife. As she begins to pull away from her husband and push him into another woman's arms she begins to regret her decision. Suddenly they're having whispered phone calls and spending time together. That's what she wanted wasn't it?

Oh my goodness. Really, I don't think I can even put the right words into a review for fear of not doing this book or author justice. It's a beautiful, heart wrenching story. And yes, it's one of the best and saddest books I have ever read, it's also full of humor and witty insights. Daisy is a three dimensional character and if she were real, the kind of girl you'd want to be best friends with. I could easily see this book on the big screen. I know 2015 just started, but this book is going to be, without a doubt, hard to top.

Before I Go belongs in your TBR pile. Written in Daisy's, first person POV, this is a standalone. Obviously I can't say it has a HEA, but it leaves you thinking, reflecting and wanting to grab a hold of your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. 6 poignant and gorgeous stars.

~ Review by Erin

One night in high school, I was watching the evening news with my mom, and she started yelling at a reporter onscreen who was being particularly pushy in his interviewing tactics. “I hate journalists,” she scowled.

That’s when I decided to become a journalist.

Since then my articles and essays have been featured in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade,and Martha Stewart Weddings.
I live in Atlanta with my husband, two children (who are also rebellious because, genetics) and a huge mutt named Bailey. I like to write and read and drink tequila. Not necessarily in that order.
I’m currently working on my second novel. If you would like to babysit my children while I do that, email me.

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