Title: Before I Let You Go
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Publish Date: April 3, 2018
# of Pages: 384
(**Warning: Possible spoilers!**)
(From Goodreads) 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 fiancé 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.
Kelly Rimmer’s book Before I Let You Go follows two sisters, Lexie and Annie, as they navigate their lives, stumble, and find their way back to each other. Before I Let You Go features tough topics like drug abuse, sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancies, adoption, and death.
Wow, what an amazing book. I finished this book a couple days ago, and I’m still in awe. It was heart wrenching and beautiful. I couldn’t put it down and voraciously consumed it in two sittings.
The book is told from the perspective of two sisters: Lexie and Annie. Both sisters have tough upbringings. They lose their father early on in life and their mother remarries into a strict religious sect. The village they grow up in enforces long skirts, long hair, no television or technology, and absolute female submission to the patriarchs. Lexie and Annie both rebel against the strictness of their home and leave the religious group as soon as they can. Once they leave, similar to the Amish, the village cuts them off and contact between them and their mother is stilted into their adult years.
Lexie does okay once she leaves the village. She’s bright, talented, and internally motivated to do great things. She continues her education and eventually becomes a doctor. As a doctor, she meets her fiancé and together they buy a house. All the pieces of the puzzle seem to fall in place for Lexie. She’s is a fighter and a fixer. If there’s a problem, she wants to solve it. She takes responsibility for her sister’s wellbeing in good times and bad, sometimes to her detriment. While Lexie is often painted as perfect–she’s not. She has a mountain of debt and control-freak tendencies.
Annie, sweet Annie, had a rougher time in the village than Lexie. Annie is Lexie’s younger sister, the more rebellious and vocal of the two. She becomes the target of Robert, her mother’s new husband, and he verbally and physically beats her in the name of God and flushing out her sin. Once Lexie leaves the village, the abuse turns sexual. By the time Annie leaves the village, her self-worth is shattered. She leaves the village broken and distrustful, and this shapes the drug abuse that soon follows. Annie’s drug abuse reaches new heights when an unplanned pregnancy is brought into the loop. Desperate for change, Annie reconnects with her sister, and together they fight to get Annie and the new baby through detox.
Along the way, Sam, Lexie’s fiancé, is the picture of perfection. He’s nothing but supportive of the two sisters, and you can’t help but to go “aw” throughout the book. The world needs more Sams.
The book was written eloquently. The author pulls you into the story, and it’s hard not to become emotionally attached to the characters. I love how the author tied Annie’s journal into the entire book. Through the journal, we get to hear all of Annie’s story–the story she’s not willing to share with Lexie or her therapists. It was as moving as it was heartwrenching.
I read the last couple chapters of the book through tears. The ending paints a grim reality, because while this is a book of fiction, what happens in the book happens everyday in real life. The ending was beautiful, simply put.
I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, pre-order this book, or place an early hold at your library! But if you do, make sure you have a healthy supplier of tissues handy.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“You don’t miss what you’ve never had, not even when everything else goes to hell.”
“Even at eighteen years old, I had already figured out that the more you win at life, the more you have to lose.”
Have you read any Kelly Rimmer books? This is my first one, and I’m in love!
Buy this book here*, or check it out at your local library.
*Note: This is an affiliate link