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Chose this book randomly. Was looking for something about Huntington's Disease and boy oh boy did I find a gem...this gem!
This book is two stories about 'goodbyes'. Julie Lawson Timmer is a wondeful author. She takes us, her readers on two quite diverse journeys. One story will make you weep but you will be joining his 'cheer leading' squad. The second story is romantic, joyful, devastating.
I have no intention of saying more about this wonderful book as I cried an ocean during and after reading it. As we have HD in my family it is very close to my heart so I may not be as objective as I could be but as an avid reader I adored every single word written by Julie Lawson Timmer and so beautifully performed by Rebecca Lowman and Kirby Heyborne.
Maybe not for everyone but definitely for me.
33 of 35 people found this review helpful
I bought this book hoping for an emotional read and I got exactly what I was hoping for. I listened to this audiobook while doing everything - driving, cleaning, cooking - all while crying! It was definitely a tear jerker!
One of the main characters, Mara, has Huntington's Disease (HD) and she is determined to end her life on her birthday (to spare her loved ones from having an extra day to grieve her death). Whether you agree with "death with dignity", this novel will have you feeling the pain of Mara. She's at a crossroad - she doesn't want her family to live being her caretaker, yet this is still a difficult decision because she wants to grow old with them. She feels robbed of life and is understandably bitter about her fate. Julie Lawson Timmer did an excellent job with her characters, because there were many times that I felt that I understood or was going through Mara's pain myself. Furthermore, Rebecca Lowman narrated Mara's character excellently as she helped to bolster this effect.
There was another main character and story that seemed out of place, however. That would probably be my only complaint about this book. A middle school teacher, named Scott, has to face the inevitable end of hosting his foster son. Scott becomes attached to the young boy and is devastated when his biological mother is returning home from a stint in jail to continue caring for him. While his story was interesting and an important one, I would not have minded if the author focused entirely on Mara's story.
I think that what I appreciated about this novel was that it was fiction but there were times that I had to remind myself that it was not non-fiction. The characters, their problems, and reactions were so real that it could have been you or I. Without a doubt, if anything, this book will continue the discussion about physician-assisted suicide or death with dignity. While we hear the medical argument for and against it, it is rare that we hear the emotional toll that it takes on the afflicted person and their families. After listening to this, I have a new respect for the entire debate and respect each affected person's decision.
It's not often that I find a book that I want to listen to for a second time but this is definitely on my list to read again!
28 of 35 people found this review helpful