Wednesday, April 06, 2016

When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker


When Luke returns home after burying his wife of sixteen years, Natalie, after she passed away from cancer, he focuses on his three children and keeping a normal life for them. At the front door, he notices a blue envelope with Natalie's handwriting addressed to him. She has written him a letter, from more than a year ago, in the event that she doesn't survive. She reminds Luke that she loves him and didn't want to leave him. Luke clutches to this additional piece of his wife.

The letters keep coming, and Natalie makes some requests. Make the kids pancakes, become friends with Natalie's best friend Annie, and hire a student from her university to look after the kids. Luke respects Natalie's wishes, but runs in to problems along the way. Annie's relationship with her husband is not good and the university student Jessie is also very sick. Luke has to confront his past and his relationship with Natalie when he realizes not everything was as it seemed.

Even though this isn't a thriller, it reads like one. There are a few twists throughout the book to keep you turning pages.

Luke is a pretty complex character and one I really enjoyed reading about. He's a good dad but not without his problems. His history is complex. At times I wondered why parts of Luke's history were being re-hashed. I think they required a bit more context when they were originally raised but everything made sense in the end. Luke does a great job of driving the story forward.

For a great story that had me turning the pages and staying up late at night, there were two things that bothered me. First, Luke was willing to move on from Natalie way too soon. He started dating another women about 6 months after his wife's death when he was still obviously struggling with her loss. Second, the ending was overkill. The twists leading up to it were believable and captured me but the final one had me rolling my eyes. It was way too much.

Still, a book's ability to capture me is measured by me not falling asleep on the train while reading it (I didn't) and staying up late to finish it (I did)!

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!

First Line: "It was a beautiful funeral."


About the Author
Emily Bleeker is a mom of four, an author and Chicagoland native. Her first novel, WRECKAGE, was released by Lake Union Publishing March 2015. Her second book, WHEN I’M GONE, will hit shelves March 2016. She's learning to balance life as a stay-at-home mom with her life as a writer. Both come with a lot of laughter, tears and a shocking amount of Diet Coke.
Find Emily on Twitter, Facebook and at her website.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!