Book Review: 'Before I Go'

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Colleen Oakley. Gallery, 312 pp. $24.99

Picture this: You're dying. You have only a few months left to live, and you're trying to get everything in order to make it "easy" for your spouse when you go. This includes finding a suitable companion to take your place.

Daisy Richmond is 27-years old and has learned that her cancer has returned, and this time it's not going away. She has six months to live, and she has a myriad of tasks on her to-do list, including fixing up the house and finding a topic for her Master's thesis.

But more than a not-quite finished house or a not-quite finished degree, she worries about her husband, Jack. He's training to be a veterinarian, and he'll graduate in the spring. But he's not the best at things around the house, and he often gets distracted. So Daisy adds another item to her list: Find Jack a wife.

She enlists the help of her friend, Kayleigh, who has a lot of experience in contemporary dating -- certainly more than Daisy after several years of marriage. They think they find the perfect woman for Jack, but then they have to find a way to get them together.

"Before I Go," Colleen Oakley's debut in fiction, reminded me of Cecelia Ahern's "P.S. I Love You," which was made into a movie starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. They're both funny and heartbreaking, and they both star heroines who are strong enough to be inspiring and crazy enough to be relatable.

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