Wow. Just Wow!!! There isn’t a rating scale with enough stars to give this book the rating that it deserves. When I’m Gone by author, Emily Bleeker is a novel that I am telling you — point blank — is a MUST READ. If you love the written word and live to lose yourself within the pages of an awesome plot, this has to be on your “To Read” list. Not buried in the middle or near the bottom. Make room in the #1 slot for this masterpiece. Cross out whatever is currently inhabiting that spot, whatever it is will not be as satisfying, I promise you — unless maybe it’s a Stephen King book. He is The Master, after all. (Sorry, Ms. Bleeker, but I have full confidence you will get there, too.) 🙂
Trust me, you will absolutely, positively thank me once you are done reading this novel, if you’re still able to string together intelligible words or coherent thought by that point. Very few books leave me speechless upon ingesting the last words, closing the back cover and setting it aside. When I’m Gone left me without adequate words to discuss it for days, completely devastated that the journey was over and grieving like I’d lost something precious when I was confronted with the reality that I had reached the end. Very few books earn a spot in my ridiculously large book shelf wall for a re-read later, and this is one that I am thrilled to place there. I have a feeling that I will be reading this novel over and over again many times in the years to come. It’s. Just. That.
So many times I thought I knew where Emily Bleeker was going with the storyline. So many times I have never been more satisfied and thrilled when a twist took me in a different direction than I thought the story was going. I apologize if my word usage and sentence structure is sub-par as I write this review — even though I finished the book days ago I am still so affected and invested in it that I’m finding difficulty conveying rational thought regarding my experience.
The book will be available for purchase by the general public on March 15, 2016. Go directly to Amazon and pre-order it and clear your calendar or head to your local book store with a sleeping bag and camp out until they open on that day. Unplug or power down your phone, avoid the internet, hell, call in to work and take a few sick days. If you don’t get paid leave at work, take the time off anyway — paying the rent can wait. It’s that good. (Did I say that already?) Lock your door, black out the windows, break the doorbell and hide in the basement with a flashlight to see by. Buy a case of bottled water (you wouldn’t want to die of dehydration) and dig the kids old potty chair out of the depths of storage and just sit on it while you read so you don’t even have to get up to pee. Make your husband care for the children or hire a sitter for a few days. If you know someone with a back woods cabin, beg for the key — and tell no one you’re leaving town (well, maybe your Mom, just in case you aren’t able to function well enough to return to the land of the living and someone needs to rescue you from diving in for an immediate re-read session). Make sure you have a full, huge meal first because you may forget to eat — fair warning. Am I making myself crystal clear…?
I’m not joking!!! Read it ASAP!!!
First let me say—I love you…I didn’t want to leave you…
Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.
The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep.
* * * * * * * * * *
Don’t let that synopsis fool you, this is not a book about cancer or those who have been afflicted with cancer. Cancer is but a mere footnote to the plot. This novel is about the choices we must make as humans and how those choices change the course of our lives, and sometimes come back from the depth of our heart and change it even more than we ever thought possible. After you read it, you will understand my reaction. And, please, head on back here and tell me what you think of it when (or if) you can. I’m dying to know!!!!!
Disclaimer: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel free of charge to facilitate review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.
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