Author: Sinéad Moriarty
Book Name: Never Let You Go*
Genre: Literature, Family
Blurb: Still reeling from her marriage breakdown, Kate’s world falls apart when her twelve-year-old daughter Jessica is diagnosed with cancer.
As her family struggle with the devastating news, Kate’s resilience is put to the test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an ex-husband who won’t face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle is a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day.
Kate knows she must put her own fear and heartbreak to one side and do right by all of her children, particularly Jessica. But sometimes doing the right thing means making a decision that no mother should ever have to make.
Holy crap! This was an amazing book. Do NOT read unless you want to cry and have a full box of tissues handy. Or maybe two. Seriously.
At the very beginning, I struggled to get into this, but I’m honestly not sure if that was the book or just me as I was feeling incredibly antsy when I started this. It took a bit of getting tossed from one character’s perspective to another without warning before I was able to sink into the flow. But once I was there, I did not want to put it down, even for the needed tissue grabs.
As much as I loved this and am giving it a full rating, I can say that it was so emotional that I don’t think I could handle reading it a second time. It kind of ripped my heart out, probably because my daughter is only about a year older than Jess is in the story. It was way too easy to see my girl in that same place and that isn’t something any mother wants to imagine, so that part was hard.
This has it’s quirky moments and a little fun, but there is just an overwhelming amount of heavy that flows through the entire thing. I loved it, but it was hard to read. I cried from about a third of the way in all the way to the end, giving me the kind of headache you only get after hours of hard crying.
There were things that I liked and didn’t like about all of the characters, but those are all the things that made them so realistic and human. The things that I would like or dislike about any person I would meet in real life. Nick especially. I didn’t like him because he’s a jerk. But… he is supposed to be a jerk. It isn’t a story about perfect people in a perfect world. Far from it. So having these characters that are so imperfect makes this story so much better. They are so well crafted, it was easy to see them come to life.
That said, this is not the kind of book to pick up if you are looking for light and happy. It is heartbreaking. Beautiful, but heartbreaking.
*I read this under the title Never Let You Go, but it was apparently published previously as The Good Mother. Goodreads only has the second one listed.