Huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for For When I’m Gone.
Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…
Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.
So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.
But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…
Well, flipping heck, this was unexpected! When I dipped into For When I’m Gone, I was expecting a tale of sadness, grief, and love. And I did get those things but I also got so much more.
This book switches between the past, present, and the handbook left behind by Sylvia to be followed by her husband, Paul, after her death. Entwined with the handbook is advice that Paul didn’t know but also parts of Sylvia’s past that may have otherwise remain buried. We watch the family navigate a devastating but revealing time and what that means for their future.
What I loved about this book was that Sylvia is flawed. Have you ever looked at an obituary page? You’ll notice that every person who ever existed was wonderful. It’s simply not true but society dictates that we can’t write anything else. Sylvia brings this to light. She can be demanding, brash, and petulant. She has her flaws and quirks just like the rest of us – and she also has her demons and skeletons in her closet.
Ley tackles some difficult subject matters that, sadly, some people have faced or will face in their lives. But that is what brings the book together, the realities of life and living, for better or worse.
This book isn’t sad or melancholic. It’s a testament to real life and that of those cut short by disease. Sylvia has a love of life and wants those around to her to keep living, even if that means making mistakes, leaving hints of our lives behind us.
For When I’m Gone is unique, funny, and will remind you that sometimes it’s OK to be impulsive. Highly recommended.
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Will you be reading For When I’m Gone? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a bookish week,