Monday, December 1, 2014

before i go

This was a devastatingly good novel. Colleen Oakley cuts through the space between  the reader and her characters until their sorrows become one. With deft prose, Oakley uses the extremely mundane

and familiar to craft a tale which hits all too close to home.

What makes this book resonate is the humor with which Oakley writes. When it is dark and painful and your reader's heart is bleeding on the floor, Daisy will, with oh so realistic attention span, become distracted by something incongruous and hilarious by juxtaposition.

Uplifting, reaffirming, funny, heartbreaking, and intimate, before i go hurts, heals, and leaves the reader with hope, but mostly, it's just a downright good read, so long as one can read through the tears.

I admit, I found myself on the edge of actively crying while reading on the elliptical at the gym. I held it together until I was home, and reading on the porch swing, where no one would notice the quietly crying woman behind the overgrown yucca, still clutching her e-reader.

My only qualm with this book is that Colleen Oakley wrote the characters with too much blood in their veins: so much that I felt I was losing a friend along with Daisy's best friend and husband. It hurt. It hurt like wiggling a loose tooth. Of course a book about a woman setting out to find a new wife for her husband while she copes with her terminal diagnosis is going to be a tear jerker, but I didn't expect to care as deeply. Brava, Colleen Oakley, brava.

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