Book Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Book Description:

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?

Author Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley’s debut novel “Before I Go” is about Daisy, a young woman in her twenties with breast cancer, how she copes with the terrible news of her dying in 3 months and her plans until then. We see everything happening through Daisy’s perspective, in a first person narrative.

What I enjoyed most about “Before I Go” is the love between Daisy and her husband Jack. The author writes their love so organically that it is relatable at times in my relationship with my husband Wade. Daisy’s witty humor really uplifts the story’s premise of a young woman with breast cancer. There are some great moments of laughter (“The air leaves the room, like he’s announced “Voldemort!” in the middle of Hogwarts.”) and the book has so many layers that you really start to feel for the characters and what they are going through.

Me being a wife in my twenties, I couldn’t imagine being in Daisy’s shoes and going through something that tragic. Daisy shows bravery and pure selfishness as she hunts for the perfect wife for her husband once she is gone. With the help of her best friend who knows the whole story, they do everything as far as setting up a dating profile for her husband. All while her husband has no idea she is doing all of this.

Overall, this book gave me all the emotions. I definitely cried, laughed and felt like I was in it with Daisy. I don’t recommend this book to anyone who has someone they love going through breast cancer. I can see this book being very hard to read. Other than that, I highly recommend this book. It was such an easy read and it will make you want to hug the book when you are finished.

Rating: 4/5

– Shelby Williams

January 31, 2020

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