“Before I Go” is a debut novel by Colleen Oakley. I learned of this 309 (Hardcover) book late 2014 as it would be an early January 2015 release. From the very first time I read what this book would be I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Sadly, I wouldn’t have a hold of this book until the later half of the year.
Let me tell you, though, no matter how long it takes you, you want to have a copy of this book, maybe not to own, but somehow you want to be holding a copy because you want to read this book.
I expected the book to be good. The very concept of the book set you up for a good story. Sure stories such as this one held could be done very poorly, but Oakley delivered everything the reader could want.
In “Before I Go” is a story of a woman who had fought and won against cancer. She lives a normal married life until she is told her cancer is back. This time she is facing very different odds than the first time she was diagnosed and so ensues events of her trying to figure out her life in the face of death.
Daisy tries to prepare for the rest of everything and in doing so thinks she must find her husband’s next wife before cancer takes her. In doing so she pulls away from her life with her husband more and more as she searches and throughout this book she learns more about herself, her marriage, and about life.
I had expected to tear up and cry throughout this book, but Oakley brings you into Daisy’s life and propels you through her story with perfect speed without the over dramatic exclamations and metaphors about life and death as others such as, “The Fault In Out Stars” riddled you with.
“again—I’ve realized that’s what grieving is, a constant cycle of feeling better and feeling worse, and I’m hopeful that one day I’ll feel better more often than I feel worse—so”
I fell in love with Daisy and her life and even though the ending was as expected I didn’t cry once, even though I felt everything Daisy did I did not cry for her. Oakley does such an amazing job at having you love Daisy as a character, that eventually you don’t only love her, but as you are reading, you become her and in doing so you learn and accept along with her, so when the end comes you are ready.
“He tells me the AWARE technique is an acronym for Accept the anxiety, Watch the anxiety, Act normal, Repeat, and Expect the best.”
“Before I Go” is a book that I am absolutely happy that I had a chance to read, but it is not one that I will be re-reading in future. Although, Daisy’s story will be one that comes to mind often and not just how she faced her cancer head on, but I will remember how Daisy kept her friends and family close, how her love for her husband never wavered and how, even at the end of her life, she still was willing to learn, to accept, and to change.