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Reader Reviewed
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Before I Go

Family Drama   Debuts of the Month   Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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May 2015 Debut of the Month.

A convincing and remarkably readable novel, writing with a lightness of touch, the author balances a tricky tightrope of emotions, keeping the read sparkling with intensity yet crisply sincere. We sit inside Daisy’s thoughts and feelings as she learns she has a cancer that can’t be stopped, we walk through her life and experience her relationships. Daisy feels authentically real, she becomes someone you care about and therefore you feel you have permission to get annoyed with her, to laugh with her, to feel heartfelt sorrow for her. This is a book about relationships, it’s about love and loss, about honesty and mistrust, it encourages you to feel, to think and yet does so with consideration. Yes this is poignant and moving, yes it may make you cry, but don't be intimidated as it’s a surprisingly refreshing and stimulating read. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Barbara Goldie - 'A sensitively written novel about a difficult subject, a great read!'
  • Sue Burton - 'Moving and thought provoking book but also funny in a bizarre way.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'The little sticker on the front of the book said "as good as JoJo Moyes or your money back". Let me tell you something. This book isn't as good as JoJo Moyes. It's better.'
  • Caroline Mathews - 'A novel about Daisy's emotional journey through terminal breast cancer.  Not too gritty, and easy to read.'
  • Cat Hogwood - 'A heart-breaking story of love and loss.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'This is a story that really makes you appreciate life and really makes you think. I think this book will stay with me for life.'
  • Tracey Copeland - 'I read this book in one night, although not a very nice subject, on which effects most people in one way or another.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'I really enjoyed this book.... It has a lot to say about the stages of acceptance of being given just a short time to live...Highly recommended.'
  • Kath Martin - 'It made me smile. It made me cry.  It is a book which will stay with me for a long time.'
  • Kate Thacker - 'What a fantastic read...! It’s a very heart felt book, the subject is close to many people...Can't wait for more from this author.'
  • Judith Waring - 'I really enjoyed reading such a well written and touching book that tackles such a serious issue in such a lovely way.'
  • Edel Waugh -  'Don't even attempt to read this book without a packet of tissues , the story is tender and touching with some laugh out moments...put this on your must read list!'
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'The book deals with love, hate, trust, sympathy and much more but is such a heart wrenching story. You feel like you are living the plot yourself.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'A totally absorbing and very moving story which is funny, sad, touching and thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed it.'
  • Margaret Madden -  'A poignant and emotional story of letting go of your love, your dreams and your life. Ideal for lovers of Weepy movies, comfy slippers and chats with BFFs...'


Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Her time is running out. How can Daisy ensure that Jack will live happily ever after? On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant 'Cancerversary' with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of good health, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it's unstoppable. Death is a frightening prospect - but not because she's afraid for herself. She's terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but 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 searches for Jack's perfect match. But as the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy is forced to decide what's more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband's happiness - or her own?


'Colleen Oakley takes on the big three - life, death,and love - and delivers a jewel. Before I Go absolutely glows with humor, wit, and compassion. I adore Oakley's fresh voice and could hardly bear for the book to end.' -- Lynn Cullen, author of the bestselling Mrs. Poe

'In Before I Go, Oakley address the oft-asked question: if you only had six months to live, what would you do? In her deft hands, what could easily turn maudlin becomes a funny and insightful journey with Daisy, and the love of her life, Jack. If you loved Jojo Moyes Me Before You, this book is for you.' -- Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden and Forgotten

'Oakley expertly tugs at the heartstrings with well-rounded characters and a liberal dose of gallows humor.' -- Publishers Weekly

'Highly recommended for laugh-out-loud fans and the tearjerker set.' -- Library Journal

'Before I Go is a big-hearted tale, with a fresh take on a woman grappling with the inevitable. The characters are approachable, full of wit and humor and - above all else - touching sincerity.' -- Suzanne Ridell, author of The Other Typist

About the Author

Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley's debut novel Before I Go was a People Best New Book Pick, an Us Weekly 'Must' Pick, a Publisher's Lunch Buzz Book, a Library Journal Big Fiction Debut, and an Indie Next List Pick. Formerly the senior editor of Marie Claire and editor-in-chief of Women's Health & Fitness, Colleen's articles, essays and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women's Health, Redbook, Parade and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Close Enough to Touch is her second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2015


Colleen Oakley

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Allen & Unwin


320 pages


Family Drama
Debuts of the Month
Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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