From the author of The Things We Cannot Say, 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 skillfully takes us deep inside a world where love must make choices that logic cannot. Ripped from the headlines and from the heart, Before I Let You Go is an unforgettable novel that will amaze and startle you with its impact and insight.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End
“Before I Let You Go is a heartbreaking book about an impossible decision. Kelly Rimmer writes with wisdom and compassion about the relationships between sisters, mother and daughter…. She captures the anguish of addiction, the agonizing conflict between an addict’s best and worst selves. Above all, this is a novel about the deepest love possible.” —Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author
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 the 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’ childhoods, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?
Rimmer (A Mother's Confession) delivers a heartrending tale of dysfunctional horror as two sisters wrestle with the consequences of unjust laws. After Lexie Vidler escaped a fundamentalist cult as a teenager in rural Illinois, she worked hard to break free of her traumatic childhood and became a successful doctor. But her fresh start is interrupted when she gets a call from her younger sister, Annie, a heroin addict: Annie is pregnant. The two then try to get Annie into rehab instead of charged for chemical endangerment of her unborn child. After Annie moves in with Lexie, old wounds are reopened and Lexie is forced to revisit her abusive childhood. Although Rimmer's story sometimes becomes preachy as the injustices pile up, this morality fable beautifully captures Lexie's guilt for feeling like she could have done more to help her sister earlier in life and exposes many hypocritical attitudes embedded in American culture. "We hold our pregnant women on a pedestal in this society," Lexie says. " women who use drugs in pregnancy have fallen off the pedestal, and don't we all just love to punish them for that?" Rimmer's timely novel captures the unbreakable bond of two sisters and humanizes the difficult intersection of the opioid epidemic and the justice system.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I really enjoyed this book and the light it shed on someone struggling with addiction. Annie’s heartbreaking story definitely allowed me to see things from a new perspective. An emotional read that had me reaching for the tissues - which is rare!
Couldn’t give 5 stars because Lexie’s character irritated me quite a bit and that took away from the story. It didn’t make sense for someone so “strong and independent” to be so whiny and weak. I also had to look up where the author was from when I was finished reading because a lot of words and phrases (“cot” instead of crib, etc) made the book sound like it was set quite far from Montgomery, Alabama. I had to keep reminding myself this was taking place in the US.
Before I Let You Go
I felt as if I were reading a story based upon my life. Well written novel. Very hard to put down.
Before I Let You Go
Amazing, story, true to life. Very well written,