Title: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling 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?
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley is a bittersweet, emotional and surprisingly humorous novel. It is a thought-provoking and riveting story about a twenty-seven year old cancer survivor who is stunned by the news her cancer has returned and she only has months to live.
Just as Daisy Richmond and her husband Jack are about to celebrate another Cancerversary, their world is turned completely upside down by her shocking diagnosis. The couple try to keep their lives as normal as possible but Daisy soon finds herself consumed with worries about how Jack will go on without her. She devises a plan to find him a replacement wife, but Daisy is surprised by her reaction when it looks like she might have succeeded in finding him the perfect woman.
Daisy is an über organized, strong and capable woman and she does not let her diagnosis defeat her. Her reaction to the news is believable and she definitely goes through all the stages of grief (albeit at an accelerated rate). She tries to maintain her regular routine, but her worry about how Jack will go on without her is soon uppermost in her mind. Daisy turns to her best friend Kayleigh for dating advice, and they concoct a somewhat harebrained but well-intentioned scheme to find Jack a new wife. In the process, Daisy pushes Jack away and in his helpless, absentminded way, he lets her. Daisy eventually figures out the reasons behind her actions, but is it too late for her to repair the damage to their relationship?
Before I Go is an incredibly heartwarming and realistic novel that is a perfect blend of heartache and humor. The cast of characters is appealing and beautifully developed with relatable flaws and imperfections. Colleen Oakley has an engaging writing style but it is the unique storyline that makes the story so captivating. Despite its serious subject matter, it is an overall light read that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.