This debut novel is the story of twenty-seven year old Daisy Richmond who beat breast cancer three years ago, only to have it return with a vengeance as an aggressive stage IV diagnosis. As she tries to come to terms with the fact that she is dying - and probably soon - she realizes that one of her greatest worries is what will happen to her charming but disorganized husband, Jack, after she is gone. So she embarks on a campaign to find him his next wife.
Although this could have been a dreadful novel in the hands of another writer, it is actually a funny, poignant, genuine story - sad but not maudlin or overly sentimental. I recommend it. — Gail King
January 2015 Indie Next List
“After just a few years in remission, Daisy's breast cancer returns with a vengeance and she is given mere months to live. The love shared by Daisy and Jack, her husband, is unbounded and immense. While undergoing experimental cancer treatments, Daisy decides to look for her replacement, a new wife for Jack. She visits dog parks, bookstores, and finally lands upon the ideal woman through an online match service. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that things do not go as planned. This book about cancer and death is filled with love and a grand sense of humor, is never maudlin or sappy, and serves as a necessary reality check for all of us.”
— Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
A People and US Weekly Pick
“An impressive feat…an immensely entertaining, moving, and believable read” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), this debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You revolves around a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.
Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer four years ago. How can this be happening to her again?
On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate four years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.
With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?
About the Author
Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer and author of the novel Before I Go. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor in chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire. Close Enough to Touch is her second novel.
"Colleen Oakley takes on the big three--life, death,and love--and delivers a jewel. Before I Go absolutely glows with humor, wit, and compassion. I adore Oakley’s fresh voice and could hardly bear for the book to end." — Lynn Cullen, author of the national bestseller MRS. POE
"In Before I Go, Oakley address the oft-asked question: if you only had six months to live, what would you do? In her deft hands, what could easily turn maudlin becomes a funny and insightful journey with Daisy, and the love of her life, Jack. If you loved JoJo Moyes' Me Before You, this book is for you." — Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of HIDDEN and FORGOTTEN
"What would you do if you knew you were dying? This emotional debut and its gutsy heroine will have you laughing through tears and staying up late until you’ve reached the final, fully satisfying page.” — Jennie Shortridge, author of LOVE WATER MEMORY
“Brilliant in its simplicity, beautiful in its sentiment, heartbreaking in its honesty, Colleen Oakley’s Before I Go takes on one of life’s ultimate cruelties, death before one's time, and makes us believe.” — Susan Crandall, author of WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD
“BEFORE I GO is a big-hearted tale, with a fresh take on a woman grappling with the inevitable. The characters are approachable, full of wit and humor and--above all else--touching sincerity.” — Suzanne Ridell, author of THE OTHER TYPIST
"Oakley expertly tugs at the heartstrings with well-rounded characters and a liberal dose of gallows humor." — Publishers Weekly
"Highly recommended for laugh-out-loud fans and the tearjerker set." —Library Journal — Library Journal
"This emotional novel will make readers laugh through their tears." — Kirkus Reviews
“Oakley has produced an affecting work that, while avoiding maudlin sentimentality, makes the reader care about Daisy and her determination to live while dying.” — Booklist
“Author Oakley has set herself a tricky balancing act here, blending a comic sensibility with the depth and poignancy her subject requires. She pulls it off.” — People
“An impressive feat…an immensely entertaining, moving and believable read.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Emotional, insightful novel." — In Touch Magazine
"Oakley knocks it out of the park in her treatment of a very sensitive subject…pleasurable, thought-provoking reading." — Athens Banner-Herald
“Colleen Oakley’s debut deftly balances sorrow with laughs and compassion.” — US Weekly