Before I Go
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A People and US Weekly Pick
“An impressive feat…an immensely entertaining, moving, and believable read” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), this debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You revolves around 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 four 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 four 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?
into clinical trials—” “You’re saying I can be cured, that you can cure”—I wave toward the glowing screen—“all this?” He puts the pencil he’s been playing with back on his desk. “I don’t—” He stops. Tries again. “I’m not—” Another break. He sounds like a skipping record. “No.” He scans his desk with his eyes, as if the words he wants to say are written on a piece of paper somewhere and he just needs to find it. “I’m saying we can . . . prolong things.” “Prolong things.” I have become a parrot.
can’t see into the pitch black untouched by its glow. Then a hulking form comes into view and I gasp. “Daisy.” “Holy shit, Sammy.” I put my hand over my rapidly beating heart “You scared the heck out of me.” “Sorry,” she says. “I thought you saw me when you pulled up.” “What are you doing out here in the dark?” I ask, noticing that her house is shrouded in shadows. Not one light is on. “I just got home from my shift,” she says, and now that my eyes have adjusted, I can see her shiny bike
of Social and Personal Relationships, studying what makes a marriage work. It would have been faster to go on the Web and type “marriage” into the search engine on livescience.com, but it felt like cheating. Too easy. I’m searching for a life partner, not a pair of shoes. It deserves a marked effort. On my breaks from thumbing through the monthly tomes and squinting at the black print, I’ve been haphazardly going to class—partly because I promised Jack I would, but mostly because there are
explain that what we have in common is our whole lives. Now he stands up, his right knee—the one that he had to have ACL surgery on in high school, not because of sports, but because he tripped up a set of cement stairs—popping, at the same time that Kayleigh crawls up onto the bed and sits cross-legged on Jack’s side, facing me. “I’ll be back soon,” Jack says. “Yell if you need anything.” Mom follows him out of the room. “No more than thirty minutes, Kayleigh,” she calls over her shoulder.
me. Or where else his hands have been. But my head feels light and the room is spinning a little and I know he’s right. I need to sit. He steers me through the living room and into the kitchen, because it appears to be the only room that has any furniture at all right now. “Jack?” I say, as I collapse into a chair, worried that the surgery was unsuccessful, that the screenings were wrong, that my brain is malfunctioning. He studies me. “Are you OK?” “No,” I say. “What is going on?” “I didn’t