Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Title: Before I Let You Go
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Published: April 2018, Graydon House
Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher via Little Bird Publicity

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 fiancĂ© 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.

My thoughts: This is my first time reading Kelly Rimmer and what an emotional, tough read it was. I don't know if all Kelly's books take you through such a roller-coaster of emotions as this one did, but WOW...I read this book in a day and was emotionally drained after finishing it. It is a good story, an important one in many ways, but it is also a tough one to read at times, so be warned.

Before I go any further with my review, I'm just going to put out there that there are many triggers in this book that might make it hard for some people to read. There's the opioid addiction and pregnancy - a very hot, divisive topic, I know. There's also abuse - both physical and drug use. It's not an easy read at times, but it's written in such a way that you become so invested with the characters such that the characters outshine the hard parts in a way, if that makes sense.

This book highlights just how strong the bond between sisters is, no matter how complicated that relationship might be. If you have a sister, or a close cousin, this book will have you wondering the entire time, what you would do if you were in Lexie's position. And you might even find yourself wavering on the decision as you delve deeper into the book and more of their backstory comes out. I think that is the beauty and complexity of this novel - the way it is told. We have Lexie's chapters told in present time, dealing with everything that is going on here and now. And then we have Annie's chapters, which are told as journal entries and go back in time to fill in what has happened in the girls' past - this really helps not only round out the story, but also explain why Annie turned out the way she did. These letters at times are gut-wrenching, but answer so many questions.

This book very effectively highlights addiction on both sides - the addict's side and the family's side. It shows the emotions and the whirlwind that everyone gets caught up in when the addict is using again. But it also shows the turmoil and frustrations that come along when the addict wants to get clean - rehab or no rehab, cold turkey or their own plan, etc. It's not an easy path - on either side - and yet Kelly Rimmer is able to very clearly paint the picture of chaos that addiction brings to everyone's life.

This book also shows how far we are willing to go for those we love. You might think that answer is easy, and most times it is, but there comes a point when you might be forced to make that unthinkable, hard decision. This book explores that and so much more. It is a story to be entered into with an open heart and an open mind - for you will have opinions but once you start getting into the meat of the story, you might find yourself rethinking all those preconceived notions.

This book evokes so many questions and thoughts as you are reading it, as well as many feelings. It is a very powerful, intense read and one that I certainly will be thinking about for a long time to come.



  1. This sounds like a thoughtful and thought-provoking book. Excellent review!

  2. Had to click over to see what you thought of this and I see you have some similar thoughts as myself. It was my first read by Kelly Rimmer. Great review.

  3. This sounds like one my mom would like. I can't handle those emotional gut punches LOL


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