Friday 10 June 2016

Book ~ "Five Days Left" (2014) Julie Lawson Timmer

From Goodreads ~ Mara Nichols is a successful lawyer, devoted wife, and adoptive mother who has received a life-shattering diagnosis. 

Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. 

Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most. 

Through their stories, Julie Lawson Timmer explores the individual limits of human endurance and the power of relationships, and shows that sometimes loving someone means holding on, and sometimes it means letting go.

Mara was a hard working successful lawyer in her forties.  She and her husband, Tom, have an adopted five-year-old daughter.  After a couple years of having symptoms, Mara learns that she has Huntington's Disease.  The disease is rapidly progressing so she decides she doesn't want to get worse and she doesn't want to burden her family as she gets worse.  So she decides to commit suicide in five days, on her birthday.

Scott is a teacher who really cares about his students.  He and his wife, Laura, have temporary custody of Curtis, an eight-year-old boy, for a year.  His mother was in prison and had recently gotten released.  She's taking her son back in five days.

This story covers the last five days in Mara and Scott's lives.  Mara is extremely organized and is starting to say good-bye to everyone and making sure that Tom and their daughter will be taken care of.  But as the day gets closer, Mara debates whether she is doing the right thing in unburdening her family or should she let nature take its course and enjoy the rest of her life, such as it will be, with her family and friends.  Scott's wife, Laura, is pregnant and has always made it clear that though she didn't mind taking Curtis in for the year, once the year is up, that's it.  She wants her own family, not someone else's.  Scott and Curtis have gotten really tight and it's tearing Scott apart knowing he'll have to give him up.

This is the debut novel by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style.  It is written in third person perspective with a focus on Mara and Scott, with their chapters alternating.  Mara and Scott's stories were interesting and potentially heartbreaking.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

I look forward to reading others by this author.

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