A heart-wrenching debut novel in the best-selling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.
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?
©2015 Colleen Oakley (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
After reading the summary, I was expecting a teary downer of a story, but instead found it almost uplifting, even a bit inspirational. I liked the characters and the believable way they interacted with each other. The medical scenes weren't overbearing - enough information to get the gist of what they were dealing with, but not so much that it becomes a Medical Drama. Mostly it was about how Daisy deals with her life, and her relationship with her husband (and other characters), with this new, terrible prognosis. Rebecca Lowman excels at this type of narrative, and she performs all but the last chapter.
This story is heartwarming and draws you in.
I would highly recommend this book for everyone.
Definitely a keeper indeed
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
This is the story of a young woman who discovers the cancer she previously defeated has come back with a vengeance and now she has "lots of cancer." I know this sounds strange but to me, that phrase "lots of cancer" which the author uses frequently is the most original and inventive thing in the book.
Rather than a story about a young woman and her husband who discover their marriage is about to end along with her life and how they handle that knowledge, the tragedy is used as a hook to lure the reader into yet another book about a troubled relationship that would quickly be fixed if only the characters would start talking to each other instead of to themselves. This is no different than so many of the contemporary chick lit or romance novels. The impending death of one half of the couple is nothing but a gimmick, not the driving force moving the plot along.
I expect a a young woman facing her own mortality in the very near future would naturally be introspective. Introspective about her upcoming demise, how she feels about death, her fears about the process, how her beliefs and her faith or lack thereof affect the process, her concerns for her loved ones, etc. But there is very little of this. I admit I skipped through some of the numerous soliloquies she engaged in ad nauseam, but there seemed to be very little thought given to the actual act of her dying and death.
The main character in this book spends her time obsessing about her relationship. Not the upcoming end to it, but whether this spouse who has already gone through so much with her really loves her or if he has already crossed her off and moved on. The male character is fairly well written and it seems obvious that he cares for his wife, at least obvious to everyone but her. She comes across as an 8th grader with her first boyfriend. A boyfriend she has so little faith in she is certain he cannot survive without her constant guidance.
I liked the narrators. However, the female narrator already has something of a sing-songey voice and the author substitutes dialog for internal prose so often that the narrators lyrical voice just made the character more affected and less real.
I admit i picked this book up hoping it would expand on the dialog that accompanied the recent death of Brittany Maynard. This seemed like a timely subject. And a subject that is sometimes easier to digest in fiction. But instead of a discussion regarding death and the choices faced by a young woman and a young married couple now facing that subject, we got a chick-lit romance in disguise with all of the angst of the worst of that genre and none of the depth of the best of that genre.
I will say that the end of the book, written after her death begins to address the subject I expected to be addressed throughout the book.
I cannot recommend this book.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
I have to say, this book blew me away. I listened in the car, at work when I could, and every spare moment I had.
Daisy has beaten breast cancer, and she is set at twenty-seven to live in marital bliss with her husband for the rest of her life. On a follow up appointment with her oncologist, she has been told that he's found a small lump in her breast, but not to worry. Well, the small lump turns out to be a sign that the cancer has taken over her body and, well.. she's not going to make it.
She is so in love with her husband Jack and she's worried what will happen to him when she's gone. In all of her wisdom, she decides that she wants to find the perfect candidate for his next wife to ensure she can die knowing he'll be taken care of.
She finds a candidate on an online site, but that candidate turns out to be someone who Jack already knows. Daisy begins to feel jealous and horrified that she thought she'd be able to find Jack a new wife, and Jack and the new girl spend a lot of time together..
The story is depressing, but the main character is so lovable and relative. I loved the narration- it's very empathetic and soothing.
The human element to this story is magnetic, and the prose are beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantastic story or humanity and true love.
Right up there with the best of the best!
The point at which Daisy has just had brain surgery, but she is sure her husband is cheating on her. She makes her mother drive her to her house where she finds an unknown car in the driveway only to then find out that her husband has been contracting the woman out to fix their house.
I felt every emotion the characters felt, however, it did not make me cry.
Before I Go is exceptional, in every sense of the word. Prepare to have your heart broken at many different points in the book, but then just when you feel you can't possibly go on because it is just too heart wrenching, Colleen Oakley mends your broken heart with the the magic that is unconditional love from both family, friends and a devoted husband.
Her writing is very comparable to Lisa Genova in the way with which she thoroughly researches her topic and writes in a way that you aren't just reading a book, you are transported to someone else's life.
I couldn't identify with the storyline. There's no way I believe that someone could go to such lengths to arrange what she was trying to do.
Make it more believable.
I struggled through the end of this book only because I had to know how it turned out. But it was extremely slow and frustrating. The characters, even Daisy herself, were shallow. I just could not relate to almost any of her reactions to be told she was dying of cancer. Now I know people react differently, but this was just too bizarre. I wanted to identify with her, but simply couldn't. Her decisions and reactions were just not believable, and I felt anxiety rising every time I started to listen again. I wanted to be Kaley, her BFF, and tell her to WAKE UP and start acting like a real person with a deadly disease. Not spend all her time on some childish endeavor she didn't even really want. And the ending was as odd as the rest of the book. The whole thing was immature, shallow and SLOW.
No. I've read a lot of books about dying or death. They are much deeper and realistic.
She didn't. It was just weird to have a male narrator come in for the first time at the end.
I don't even know where to start. So many superfluous ones. So many that could've been tightened up. So many characters who could have been more developed.
Don't waste your time.
Great story with real emotion but makes you wonder why she would spend so much of the time that she had left trying to find a new wife for her soon to be widowed husband when they could have spent more time together enjoying the time she had left. Overall I really liked the story.
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