I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour today for the wonderful Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer. My thanks to Anne Cater for arranging the tour and for asking me to be a part of it.
Lexie is living the perfect life. She has a great job, a beautiful home and a wonderful fiancé, but then one day her peaceful life is shattered when she receives a phone call from her sister, Annie. Not only is Annie heavily pregnant, but she is also a drug addict. With her niece in danger of being put into the foster care system, will Lexie help her sister once again? And will Annie finally find the strength to stay clean for the sake of her baby daughter?
I have steadily been getting more excited about reading Before I Let You Go over the last month or so after hearing so many wonderful things about it, and so I could not wait to crack the spine and read. My concern was that I’m quite often in fear of being disappointed; of being that one person who bucks the trend and can’t see what all the fuss is about.
I absolutely was not disappointed.
Before I Let You Go is the type of story that haunts you long after you close the last page. I found it to be an incredibly emotional read – I was actually struggling to hold myself together just 40 pages in whilst sat on a crowded train. For me, all that emotion is rooted within the wonderfully realistic, but flawed relationship between Lexie and her sister, Annie. Two sisters who are polar opposites and yet equally talented in different ways; Lexie is smart and academic, whilst Annie is a talented writer with a bright future ahead of her. When their father suddenly dies, their lives became unrecognisable, and they cling to one another to survive, their relationship forever altered. But then, one day Lexie leaves Annie to pursue her dreams.
The relationship between the two sisters is built beautifully throughout the novel from both perspectives. Each chapter is from either the point of view of Lexie in the present day, or through the eyes of Annie, who is writing about her past in a series of journal entries in her attempt to get clean. The culmination is a wonderful exploration of their lives together and the reader is left straddling a dual time line narrative, left wondering about what has happened in the past, and what will happen in the present with the two stories eventually tying together in the finale. For me, this was a perfect way to build up the character of Annie, in particular. There is so much emphasis placed on her talent for writing within the novel, that for her voice to be heard through her own writing, and for her to tell her story so evocatively, really brought her to life in my mind. The reader is really able to get to know the Annie beneath the stereotype of a drug addict, and understand why she is as she is.
It is, at its very core, a story about relationships. Not just between Lexie and Annie, but also the impact of events between Lexie and her fiancé, Sam, of both women with their mother, and of course the developing bonds with Daisy, Annie’s daughter. It is very much an inwards look at boundaries, limitations and expectations.
Before I Let You Go has so much heart. It is a real tear jerker and Kelly Rimmer is obviously an incredibly talented writer. I fell so absolutely in love with both her style of writing, and her ability to connect emotionally with me as a reader, that I have already purchased A Mother’s Confession, which I am very much looking forward to reading. Kelly Rimmer is now well and truly on my radar and as well as enjoying her past novels, I’ll be avidly keeping a look out in the future for new ones.
There is so much more I wish I could say, but to do so I would probably end up giving away more than I should – but suffice to say, this is one of my top reads of the year. It ticks all of my boxes; beautifully written, wonderful characters, a heartbreaking story and a real page turner to boot. In my opinion, it’s a must read.
Your sister or her baby. Who do you choose?
A moving page-turner with a heart-pounding dilemma. As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leather bound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears…
As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily engaged. Annie is an addict – a thief, a liar and unable to remain clean. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?
About the Author
Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.