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Five Days Left

Five Days Left - Julie Lawson Timmer I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, and it's really a 3.5-star for me. The five days left title refers to a deadline in two different story lines: one is a woman (Mara) suffering from Huntington's disease who has decided to end it all on her terms in five days (despite having a husband and 5-yo daughter), and the other is a man (Scott) who's been taking care of a foster child for a year and will send the child back to his mother in five days. Their connection is that they're both on an anonymous chat line for non-traditional families. All that is clear in the first few pages, so not a spoiler. And it's also obvious in the first few pages that this one is clearly designed to be a tear-jerker. It worked, but I kind of resent it for that.

We spend a lot of time in these character's heads. Will she or won't she? How is Scott's story gonna turn out -- will something change? I learned a lot about Huntington's, that's for sure. And I figured out I liked Mara's husband a lot more than I liked Mara, but that's allowed. Each section of the book is a day, which the characters mainly spend going over past events, and then the inevitable last day arrives.

So the book made me care about the characters, and the author gave a rich depiction of the full lives of these characters. They were fully 3D, and I love that. The writing style was simplistic: communicative, but not beautiful. If you're looking for a good cry, this is the one. It's also good for discussion of what love requires of us.