Release date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.
As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?
Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.
The drug crisis in the US is overwhelmingly horrific, I have way too many friends and family members who have struggled with addiction and it is such an ugly and awful disease. This book is uncomfortable. This book is heartbreaking. This book is also incredibly important and beautifully poignant. It sheds light on a dark corner of society, that of the pregnant drug addict. The current protocols and procedures in place regarding how to legally handle situations where a mother gives birth to an admitted baby are shocking and utterly unhelpful, definitely eye opening for me. Rimmer is such a gifted writer, there is no one better to write about such a topic.
This is told from two viewpoints, sisters Lexie and Annie. Lexie is a successful doctor who is engaged to an amazing man, seriously everyone deserves a man like Sam. Lexie’s chapters are told in the present day starting immediately after Annie calls to tell her she’s eight months pregnant and scared because she’s still been using heroin and she thinks something is really wrong. Annie’s chapters are told via journal entries that explain her road to drug abuse and events in her childhood that led her down a dark road. My heart broke for both of these women, both of their stories were painfully raw and so very honest. They are gorgeously drawn and complex characters, I can’t say enough about how invested I was in their lives.
This reminded me of a Jodi Piccoult book, it has the same emotionally charged plot coupled with extremely strong writing, this book is phenomenal. You will need tissues, it’s a total tear jerker so be warned. I’m calling it a must read and it’s going right into my top books of the year list.
Before I Let You Go in three words: Heart-wrenching, Emotional and Powerful.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.