“It is about women remembering who they were before they had children.”
Callie Perry has it all: a handsome, successful, although not flawless husband, wonderful children, a slightly wayward little sister, a successful photography business and generally a life full of love and wonder and laughter. So when her breast cancer returns as neoplastic meningitis (brain-related cancer), those she loves are shattered, but rally around her.
Normally I wouldn’t pick this sort of book up, being a bit of a romance/chick lit snob, but I’d seen it positively reviewed around the place and it was just the ticket for a brain-free read. As you know, I didn’t fare all that well with that bastion of chick lit, The Horse Whisperer. This, as you can see from the 9/10 rating, was a whole different receptacle of aqueous-dwelling vertebrates.
I loved pretty much all of the characters. Callie was a bit perfect, Stella was a bit bratty younger sister-ish, Mason clearly had an agenda, but I cared about them, I wanted their lives to keep being fluffy and pink. I loved the crazy earth mother Honor, and was pleased that Green chose to include enough back story that we could see where she came from.
And Green does not hold back with the heartbreak when the plot gets going. In a sense, there isn’t much plot – lovely woman gets sick: effect on family. But Callie’s illness is chronicled in enough detail to be very credible (it did not surprise me that Callie was based on a real life woman known to the author), but not so much that it’s gory. Think Before I Die.
Plus it gets several extra points out of ten for including a recipe at the end of every chapter: Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Cake, Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, Ginger Almond Chicken. Seriously, I’m going to have to hold onto this book for a while just so I can try out the recipes!