But don’t dismiss my buddy Colleen Oakley’s BEFORE I GO as just a “cancer book.” Because it’s so much more than that.
It’s a love story. Between Daisy and Jack, who met when he rescued her from a bumblebee, and are opposites in so many ways. It’s about Jack’s socks and Daisy’s OCD tendencies, and crooked teeth and laugh lines.
It’s the story of a marriage. It’s about a home two people have built together and the things that bind them and the things that fall apart. It’s about the widening space between two people on the bed they’ve shared for so many years. And about what has to happen to close that gap.
It’s a story about mortality. A story about what we’d do if faced with the impossible. About decisions made and regrets to suffer. About the things we do and the things we let go. And about what we decide we want to leave behind, if given that choice.
It’s a character study. One about a person, who, like all of us, is inevitably flawed. Who, faced with that impossible challenge, is doing her best. Despite being cranky. Who makes mistakes and realizes after the fact and nearly loses it all before she really has to. Who has good intentions and terrible execution and still cracks jokes right till the end. But in the end, it’s about a woman who hopes the best for the ones she loves, even if that’s not best for her.
It’s catharsis. Yes, you’ll need a full box of tissues. Let’s get that right out of the way. Because even if you’ve never stared down your own mortality, you’ve been in Daisy’s shoes — and lost your balance. And maybe, if you’re lucky, like Daisy, you’ve managed to grasp on to something and right yourself, too.