Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
Before I Go is an emotional debut novel about a 27-year old named Daisy. Daisy has survived breast cancer at the young age of 24, and on the eve of her "Cancerversary" she finds out that she has "Lots of Cancer". After her yearly checkup, her doctor discovers that her cancer is aggressive and she may have only a few months to live. After considering life after her death, she decides finding her husband a new wife is how she will focus her time.
So... where to start? Let's begin with Daisy. Daisy is one of the character types that rises to the occasion. She sees problems and fixes them. This makes her the perfect candidate for her veterinarian husband who often leaves his socks in piles on the floor, or would probbly eat cereal at every meal if she weren't around. After she's given her diagnosis, Daisy realizes he will be severely handicapped and unable to fend for his self. This is how she rationalizes trolling cafes, dating sites, and other various places to find her husband a wife. Before long, this plan isn't as easy to take on as she expects.
Initially, what made me so interested in this title is that most people couldn't bear to see their significant others look at someone else, let alone, search for that someone else for them. I started thinking if I were to leave the world prematurely, but with an expiration date in mind, how would I like to spend those days, months, years. Would I worry about the after "Lots of Cancer" or would I focus on being happy. Living in the moment. Worrying about where my next laugh would come from instead of battling jealousy in my husband's potential mates.
Colleen Oakley allows us to take an emotional journey with a woman who needs more to let go and just be happy, as opposed to finding her husband a wife. Oakley writes a likable enough character. I just grew agitated with her shifting between jealousy and determination in reference to finding her husband a wife instead of living that life.
Although Before I Go is a debut, and at moments it shows, Daisy's voice allows book snobs to still enjoy this heartfelt read. The pages just fly by with the hope of finding out Daisy's outcome yet dread that it may come to an end. No I will not give away the ending except to say... YOU MUST READ IT!!! No spoilers here.
In conclusion, Before I Go by Colleen Oakley is a worthwhile debut that will have readers question just how easy it really is to let go and move on. Most importantly, it begs the question what is more important when life has an accelerated expiration date. Your own happiness or those you'll leave behind.
Copy Provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley