22.6.15

Book Review: Before I Go by CoLleen Oakley

Her time is running out.
How can Daisy ensure that Jack will live happily ever after?
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant 'Cancerversay' with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of good health, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's terminal.
Death is a frightening prospect- but not because she's afraid for herself. Terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but charmingly helpless husband when she's no longer there to take care of him, she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.
With a singular determination, Daisy searches for Jack's perfect match. But as the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy is forced to decide what's more important in the short amount of time she has left, her husband's happiness or her own?

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 320

This book is heartbreaking but such an interesting read. I have read a few books where the main character is dying from Cancer but I think this one is the most honest.
Daisy is due to celebrate being clear of cancer for three years when her oncologist delivers the awful news that her cancer has returned and it is terminal. Her life expectancy has been reduced to months and there is nothing she can do. Daisy focuses on her husband Jack and what will happen to him once she has gone. She decides that she needs to find him a new wife so that he won't be on his own. But is she really strong enough to find her own replacement and what if Jack ends up loving someone more than her?
I really like Daisy and she goes through so, so much in this book. As you would expect, her emotions are all over the place; anger, sadness, relief, jealousy are just a few that are explored. There were times that I wanted to shout at her to just enjoy the time that she has left instead of looking for Jack's new wife. But then I had to think how I would react in that situation, knowing you only have a few months left to cram in as much as you can.
I couldn't dislike Jack as he was sc
arily like my own husband. I think it's a shame in a way that we only get the one chapter from Jack's perspective as it would have been interesting to read more about his reactions to Daisy's behaviour and illness.
Colleen Oakley doesn't hold back too much on the physical effects of Daisy's cancer and it's obvious that this book has been meticulously researched. She does not bog you down with detail but instead shows you the procedures and medications that Daisy has to endure and how they affect her.
This book is obviously incredibly sad but I have to say that I was very impressed by the level of humour that the author included in the book. The funny moments mainly occurred between Daisy and Jack but they were entirely believable and much needed.
Before I Go is a book that will make you think about how you would behave in such a situation. But more importantly it makes you take stock of how lucky you are and how that can be taken away so quickly.
Colleen Oakley has written a very interesting, highly emotive debut novel and I was very impressed.

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin for sending me a review copy, Before I Go is out now! 

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