By Harriet Kline
** Publication Date 22 June 2021 **
Prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster. Ruth and Rich met through Ruth’s sister, Nessa. They’ve been married just about forever and have a son, Ollie, who seems to be autistic. Rich has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. A brain tumor too large to treat. The only option is palliative care. Hence the emotional roller coaster.
How do you figure out a way to make someone’s last days on earth perfect? Ruth just wants Rich to enjoy every last day. Nessa wants to make sure that every item on Rich’s bucket list is accomplished. Ollie believes that his dad wants him to solve a puzzle. And then there are the parents, Ruth’s mother Angran who believes it is her job to make sure that Ruth isn’t traumatized further; and Marjorie and Gerald, Rich’s parents are just barely hanging on.
The story flip flops between several different time periods, but with the ability to easily determine when it is. Each chapter is told by a different person, so that we get to capture each person’s reactions and emotions surrounding a horrible diagnosis. As well as coping with the tragedy ahead of them, each character also makes some realizations about themselves.
Although there is a lot of pain and tragedy in the novel, there is also a lot of joy and celebration. It makes you think about life in a completely different aspect.