Wednesday, June 26, 2019

review: before i go by colleen oakley

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At just 27 Daisy learns that the breast cancer she thought she beat three years ago has now spread throughout her body. The doctor says she likely only has months to live. But Daisy has much to do—she and her husband have a fixer-upper house and both are working on graduate degrees. Daisy initially tries to live her life normally, but soon her focus shifts to finding a new wife for her husband, who she believes can’t possibly take care of himself.

With a terminal cancer patient as the protagonist, it seemed Before I Go would be excruciatingly sad; it wasn’t. That’s partly because Daisy doesn’t wallow in her diagnosis and partly because Daisy is slightly annoying in her fixation on insignificant things like drinking the organic kale smoothies she believed kept her healthy. Because Before I Go centers wholly on Daisy finding a wife for Jack (who as an adult about to be a veterinarian should be capable of taking care of himself—I had trouble with this plot because it just seemed so insulting to Jack), the story drags at times with Daisy not taking any action on her plan but still going on and on about it. The final chapter was incredibly touching though.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery.

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