Five Days Left

September 10, 2014 Fiction, Review 15 ★★★★★

Five Days LeftTitle: Five Days Left
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: This was an incredibly moving story, with interesting and heartbreaking ethical dilemmas.

“Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer, and devoted wife and adoptive mother, has recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most.” (Source)

All of the reviews and even the Goodread’s summary described this book as heartbreaking and oh were they right. Both of the character in incredibly difficult situations. The author did an amazing job describing their emotions, making me empathize with them so much I felt like crying most of the day I was reading this book. They may sound like an unpleasant experience, but I loved reading this book. The author dealt with these tough topics with incredible compassion and empathy. She drew me into the story and I couldn’t put it down until I found out how both stories were resolved. I can tell it was a fantastic and engaging read, because I wrote two notes at the beginning of the book and then couldn’t pull myself away from reading to write any more!

I used to avoid books that I thought would make me sad and still avoid some tough topics, but this book and several other books about difficult topics have turned out to be some of my favorites. I can’t remember which blogger pointed this out (apologies!) but they said that if people can live through something, we can certainly read about. I think that’s a wonderful point. Reading a book like this is an incredible way to begin understanding the challenges some people are facing in their lives today. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it for that reason; I enjoyed it because it was a wonderful, well-written, emotionally moving book. But I would recommend it even more highly for that reason.

15 Responses to “Five Days Left”

    • DoingDewey

      I’m the same way! Although I love reading much more than I watching movies, I find that movies can make me experience more intense motions. With stories that are too sad or too violent, I think that makes a movie much harder to deal with.

  1. Leila @ LeilaReads

    That sounds amazing. When you mentioned wanting to cry most of the time you were reading, I feel that way when I read Jodi Picoult. Is this the same kind of thing? Also reminds me of Lisa Genova.

    • DoingDewey

      I’ve only recently started to realize that I can enjoy sad books, so I’ve actually always avoided authors who write books that are obviously going to make my cry, like Jodi Picoult. I would guess it’s pretty similar though and given that my little sister has been recommending Jodi Picoult forever, I might need to give her books a try, because I loved this one a lot.

    • DoingDewey

      I’m starting to notice the cathartic function of tear jerkers too. I’m also starting to realize that an author who can make me care about characters enough to cry for them is usually going to be an author I love.

  2. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    I don’t avoid sad books (unless there’s a particular reason, like with the current giveaway I have going on right now) because I want to know what others face… I think it helps us become more thoughtful, sensitive, understanding, etc. toward others.

    • DoingDewey

      I’m starting to become braver about reading this sort of book. There are still things that are outside my comfort zone, particularly stories about rape or child abuse, but I’m trying to push my boundaries. Like you, I think that reading books that let us experience the harder parts of life is something which can make us more understanding of others.

  3. Naomi

    I agree with Katie- sometimes I want a book like this to read. Sometimes I love to just sit there and read and cry. Maybe it’s therapeutic somehow? This one sounds perfect! Thanks for the review!

    • DoingDewey

      Interesting! I’m definitely not to the point where I’ll go looking for a sad book, but I’m letting them scare me off less than they used too 🙂

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