Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2015 by Gallery Books 
Genre: Adult/Womans Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

This book was not what I was expecting. I expected a somewhat gloomy and depressing story about a woman dying of cancer. It is definitely an emotionally charged book but there were also numerous moments of humour and every day chaos within the pages as well.

Before I Go really made me stop and think. This is a good thing in my opinion. I know I'm really enjoying a book when this happens. What would I do if I found out I was going to die? Where would my thoughts lead me? I can tell you that they wouldn't lead me in the direction that Daisy's did... or maybe they would. All I know is that I never want to find out. I actually found her motives extremely endearing although I didn't necessarily agree with them. In a way it was quite beautiful that her concerns were for her husband and his life after her. At the same time I found myself wanting to slap her for wasting so much time that could have been spent with him.

Basically this story is about how people deal with life altering news and the methods they choose to cope with it. I found it honest, believable and beautifully written. It highlights the fact that there are no easy answers or roadmaps in these kinds of situations. I was very thankful for the added moments of humour in it as well. Daisy's preoccupation with Jack's sock pile beside the bed was one that I unfortunately can relate to. Having said that, I did shed some big, streaming down the face, ugly tears towards the end.  A truly terrific read!

Terri had the opportunity to read and review this book as well. Knowing that I would be reading it I refused to read her review. I am curious to know what she thought. You can find her review here.

About the Author
Colleen Oakley's articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two painfully cute kids and a huge lapdog named Bailey. Before I Go is her debut novel.

Connect with Colleen



  1. Ahhh I hate reading sad books about people who are sick. But I'm glad you enjoyed this one! :) Great review.

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I've read a book with similar storyline titled Before I Die and it absolutely made me teary. I'm glad that this book is humorous and I love the simplicity of the cover. It would be a great book to pick up! From your review, you just convinced me to read it even more! Thanks for sharing :D

    Natasha @ Dreamland Teenage Fantasy

  3. I read an excerpt of this book a few weeks ago and I loved it. Going to read the full book as soon as I get the chance. Great review! :)