Book review: Before I let you go covers a spectrum of emotional issues

  • Apr. 27, 2018 2:13 p.m.

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer


Published: April 3/18. Graydon House Books

Reviewed by Kirsten Lowe

Lexie Vidler’s relationship with her sister Annie has always been complicated. Their childhood wasn’t like most families and Annie always relied on her sister as a mother figure. They didn’t have a “normal” childhood, and the past continues to haunt and torment Annie. While she was simply surviving, Lexie had to be the strong and unbreakable one all while trying to hide her shame of her family and Annie. For years Annie has lived in the dangerous life of being a drug addict (addiction runs in the family).

After not hearing from her sister in years, Lexie suddenly receives a 2 am phone call from Annie, begging for help. This time it’s not just the drugs – but Annie is also pregnant. Where they live in Alabama, it’s a felony to use drugs while pregnant, so if Annie goes to the hospital, gives birth and takes a drug test that will definitely come back positive, she will lose custody of her baby and possibly go to prison.

So Lexie, who has tried to help her little sister multiple times in the past, steps in again to offer aid. Already having her hands full with her career, and about to get married, Lexie and her fiancé, Sam, find themselves taking care of Annie’s infant daughter Daisy. Annie is then forced to go to rehab – but at least she has the chance of getting clean and being a mother to her child. But the added pressures of caring for Daisy takes its toll on the couple’s relationship, and Lexie if forced to face a past she has tried so hard to forget.

Before I Let You Go is a heart wrenching, compassionate and well-written story that touches on so many emotional issues surrounding delicate subject of addiction. The story was told in alternating perspectives from Lexie in present day and from Annie through letters and diary entries. Author Kelly Rimmer’s portrayal of these sisters and the bond that the two shared was delivered well – and individually the sisters are able to reach out and make the readers feel all range of emotions. This is definitely a powerful story that I would recommend.

Kirsten Lowe studies at Athabasca University.

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