Review: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Title: Before I Go

Author: Colleen Oakley

Published: Allen & Unwin February 2015

Status: Read from February 12 to 13, 2015  – I own a copy { Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Daisy Richmond is twenty seven, happily married, working towards her Master’s degree and about to celebrate three years cancer-free, when her doctor delivers the news that her body is riddled with tumours, and it’s likely she won’t live beyond six months. Daisy is devastated but her overwhelming concern is for her husband, Jack. How will her wonderful but disorganised and absent minded husband cope without her? Who will scratch his back when he can’t reach, make sure he eats regular meals, or save him from drowning in a sea of dirty socks?

Before I Go is a poignant, tender debut novel authored by Colleen Oakley that tugged on my heart strings as I read it. However, on reflection, I don’t have much to say about it.

It doesn’t offer a particularly unique premise though the idea of finding a replacement for yourself is thought provoking. The characters are engaging, evoking an appropriate mixture of sympathy, admiration, and frustration, but none of them surprised me.

I did feel that the book was well written, and I appreciated the way Oakley tempered the inevitable seriousness with flashes of humour. The underlying message, about savouring and living in the present, is sincerely and simply presented.

Before I Go is an emotional, bittersweet story about love, loss, life and death. A lovely read, just not really memorable for me.

Before I Go is available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AU I via Booko

Book Depository  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laurelrainsnow
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 05:16:46

    I have been curious about this one…probably not one I’ll read, but thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. Deborah
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 13:03:22

    I’ve been undecided about this one as well. I get overly sentimental at times so I worry it’ll be too emotionally exhausting! (And yes, I know that sounds selfish!)

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