Five Days Left (Hardcover)
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer is a gripping novel. There’s no other way to state it. It grips you (and you’ll be gripping the book, let me tell you).
The two protagonists are Mara and Scott. They become acquainted in an online forum for "non traditional families" and each are experiencing life-altering situations.
Mara is suffering from Huntingdon's Disease; it has progressed to the point where her physical and mental decline will begin to escalate. These thoughts go through Mara's mind: “I am going to die. Do I simply keep trying or would it be better to die before it gets too bad? But how do I leave my family? I will miss everything. But I can't bear the thought of my family seeing me become someone other than the person they know and love.” Mara's husband, Tom, is supportive in every way he can be. How can he keep Mara positive and hopeful and help their young daughter understand the changes happening to her mother?
Scott is a teacher who is fostering a former student's younger brother. There are ups and downs, but overall, it's been a fantastic time for Scott and the child. Scott's wife, Laurie, has been supportive and when it's apparent that the time fostering the child is coming to an end, Laurie can hardly contain her excitement. It’s not that she hasn’t come to love the child, it’s just that she is finally pregnant with her and Scott’s natural child and she wants to make this time precious.
Five Days Left is a masterpiece told in the alternating views of Mara and Scott. As those of you who read my reviews know, I’m not usually a fan of alternating POVs. Most often I find this method the lazy storyteller’s way of piecing together a story. Timmer’s success with alternating POVs for me is because the stories are linked only through the parallel timelines of their situations. Each event is separate to Mara or Scott. Except that each is facing a deadline of five days left. You will feel as though you are right there with Mara and Scott. You will want to offer advice, solace, anything to help them get through the pain.
Beware, as much as I love Five Days Left and recommend it, you must know there are heart-wrenching scenes that will leave you weeping. Keep the tissues handy. This is not a sappy story. It’s real and could happen to any of us at any time. -- Wendy, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
A beautifully drawn study of what is at risk when you lose control of your own life. Unique, gripping, and viscerally moving this impressive debut novel heralds the arrival of an extremely talented writer. Jodi Picoult, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Leaving Time"
"Destined to be a book club favorite, a heart-wrenching debut about two people who must decide how much they re willing to sacrifice for love."
Mara Nichols is a successful lawyer, devoted wife, and adoptive mother who has received a life-shattering diagnosis. 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.
Through their stories, Julie Lawson Timmer explores the individual limits of human endurance and the power of relationships, and shows that sometimes loving someone means holding on, and sometimes it means letting go.
About the Author
Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Canada and earned a bachelor s degree from McMaster University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and children and is a lawyer. This is her first novel; she is currently at work on her second."