Before I Let You Goby Kelly Rimmer Published 03 Apr 2018
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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 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’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?
Both candid and compassionate, 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.
"Before I Let You Go" Reviews
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...
After falling in love with Kelly Rimmer’s previous novel “ A Mother’s Confession ”, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this upcoming novel.
Lexie Vidler is a doctor who is used to getting calls in the middle of the night on her cell phone. Although she hasn’t spoken to her sister, Annie in more than two years, Lexie isn’t surprised to hear Annie’s voice when her landline rings at 2:00am. She tries to prepare herself for the only thing contact with Annie has brought her over the years…
“Lexie, you have to help me – I think I’m dying.”
Instantly, Lexie can tell her sister is high, and angrily tells her to go to the hospital. Her fiancé, Sam is now awake and seems surprised at her tone. However, this isn’t the first middle of the night call she’s received from her little sister….
“I’ve been dealing with her addiction for years, and even after a two-year break from the drama, the weariness returns as soon as she does. If this was a one-off, I’d probably panic and rush to her aid – but it’s not. I have lost count of Annie’s desperate 2:00 a.m. phone calls.”
But Lexie is completely unprepared for what Annie says next….
“Lexie, I’m pregnant. I can’t go to the hospital. I just can’t”.
Lexie has always tried to be there for Annie. When they were young, their father died and their mother went to pieces. Emotionally they were on their own and so Lexie was the one who stepped up to take care of Annie. Lexie had always promised her father that she would take care of Annie. But when Annie pulled a stunt two years earlier that almost got Lexie fired, she knew she had to cut ties with her sister. But THIS is different. This time it’s not just Annie that needs her.
So much is riding on Annie getting clean. Lexie wants to advocate for her sister, but their complicated past has left her with mixed feelings. For Annie to get better and to heal, she will need to address the issues she’s tried to suppress by self-medicating. The secrets she kept from everyone….including Lexie.
Wow! Once again, Kelly Rimmer has written a book that I couldn’t put down. I was hooked from the start and became completely engrossed in the story and its characters. I could relate to the sister's complicated relationship. Because of my own experiences and relationships, some parts of the book hit me very hard. I was emotional and even angry at times. It made me question some of my own pre-conceived notions. And though I’ve finished the book…I can’t stop thinking about it.
This was definitely a thought-provoking read with some controversial issues that could help start some important discussions. The author has obviously done her research and I feel like the story was well-balanced, honest, realistic, and of course, interesting.
“ Before I Let You Go” is a well-written and poignant book about love, family, addiction, abuse, loss, and forgiveness. Another great read from Kelly Rimmer that I won’t soon forget.
Thank you to NetGalley and Graydon House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
5 stars! This was a touching and emotional novel that affected me deeply. I have not stopped thinking about these characters since I finished reading.
This is a story about addiction. It involves family secrets that test the strength of the bond of sisters. This novel will challenge you to examine your thoughts and feelings toward addiction and the effects it has on the addict as well as their families. My mind was swimming with my thoughts and reactions as the story progressed. I questioned myself constantly throughout the pages of this novel, asking how I would react and I really struggled to find my answers (some answers I still have not yet found).
There are many books about addiction. For me, the piece that truly pulled me into this story was that it was about drug addiction during pregnancy. This got right to my heart and kept me fully invested from first to the last sentence.
I will warn readers that there are upsetting scenes and discussions about the effects that substance abuse during pregnancy has on a newborn baby, but my suggestion is to push through these uncomfortable details (if you feel you can) because this story, as a whole, is deeply contemplative and insightful. It was a very eye-opening journey – one I will never forget experiencing. I would like to thank Kelly Rimmer for writing this deeply affecting story and opening up my mind to understand and show compassion to people who are often judged and ridiculed.
This was a Traveling Sister Read and it sparked very deep discussion and debate. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit Norma and Brenda’s fabulous blog at:
A big thank you to NetGalley, HARLEQUIN – Graydon House Books and Kelly Rimmer for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Date of Publication: April 3, 2018.
4 Emotional Stars.
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. When Lexie gets a call at 2 a.m. after not hearing from heard sister for years, she knows something is wrong. Something bad. But then something is always wrong with Annie. Annie is a drug addict. Has been for years. This time however, it’s not just drugs that Annie has a problem with. Annie is strung out and extremely pregnant and Annie needs medical attention.
Where they live in Alabama, it’s a felony to use drugs while pregnant, thus if Annie gives birth in the hospital, she will lose custody of her baby and go to prison. Yet Annie calls her sister, - her sister - the doctor (whose boyfriend is also an M.D.). Lexie wants to help and she only knows one way to do so. Soon Lexie and her boyfriend Sam’s life is turned upside down, caring for Annie’s daughter Daisy, while Annie is in court ordered rehab.
Lexie and Annie’s relationship is complicated. Always has been. Their childhood, was unlike any other. Annie’s past haunts her. It is heartbreaking. She is raw, pained and struggling. At times, it seemed like she simply just survived. Lexie has always been the mother figure. She has always been the defensive one, unable to let anyone in, ashamed of her sister. Ashamed of her own life. Addiction, you see, is a family disease. You can’t hide from it, even when you want to, and that was prevalent here, as Lexie tried to do so for years.
“Before I Let You Go” by Kelly Rimmer - expertly delved into the subject of drug addiction and how it affected two sisters and their families, as well. Heart wrenching doesn’t begin to cover it. As I said, addiction is a family disease. It is not a label and everyone has a story. Lexie and Annie’s is a powerful one. The characters make you feel, they tear at your heart, make you anxious, make you angry and make you cry. “Before I Let You Go” is a novel that captures a lot of emotions and is one that I highly recommend.
I read this novel with several of my Traveling Sisters. Our reactions sparked incredible discussions. Thank you sisters. I’m so glad I read this one with all you. For Full Traveling Sister Group Reviews, please see Brenda and Norma’s Amazing Blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com
Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins and Kelly Rimmer for an ARC of this novel to read and review.
Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads and Twitter on 3.24.18.
Lexie gets a phone call at 2 am from her sister, Annie. She hasn't heard from her in years. She finds out that Annie is pregnant, but she won't go to the hospital, because she is afraid that she can't pass a drug test.
Annie is a drug addict. She has failed over and over again to get clean and sober. If she goes to the hospital, she knows that she will lose custody of her baby. She might even have to go to prison.
Lexie has always been there for her sister. They both share a strong bond of a terrible painful childhood. Lexie has her hands full.
She is a doctor and plans on getting married soon. They both live different lives. Lexie is in danger of losing her job.
Annie is in Rehab and writes her story through letters that are long buried secrets from the sister's childhood.
This was such a heartbreaking story. I just loved Annie. It had me in an emotional mess. The author shows that addiction affects every member of the family. The author did a great job telling both sides of the story, Annie, the addict, and Lexie the family member, who is affected by her sister's addiction.
Their childhood was such a terrible painful past. This book made me feel, I was in tears in certain parts of the story. This book covers so many emotional issues and difficult subject matter. I thought Lexie did everything she could do to help her sister.
This was a page turner for me. I just wanted to find out what happened next.
I loved the characters. I had empathy for Annie, Lexie and Sam.
Make sure you have tissues handy, while reading this book.
This was a Traveling Sister Read and it was a great discussion and I really enjoyed reading this with them.
I want to thank Edelweiss, Graydon House/ Harper Collins and Kelly Rimmer for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"There is no off switch to the love between sisters; no way to pause it, no way to destroy it."
This story was both a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of the love between two sisters. Annie is a drug addict facing the biggest problem of her life. She is strung out, pregnant and in premature labor. Not knowing what else to do she calls her big sister, Lexie, for help. Lexie has always been more of a mother than a sister to Annie. She has always stepped in to help her little sister throughout the trials of her life, with unwavering love and compassion.
"Addiction is, in that way, just like love—in the early moments, you don’t see the potential for it to bring you pain—it’s just something you slide into between laughs and smiles and moments of bliss. It’s something that feels like a shield, until you realize it’s actually a warhead, and it’s pointed right at you."
Annie's addiction was fueled by her childhood. The early loss of her father and the traumatic years that followed led her down a dark path where drugs offered her the only escape she felt worthy of having. Now, she is faced with jail time and the possible loss of her daughter if she doesn't complete a rehab program and remain sober.
The story is told in alternating voices between Lexie's perspective as she struggles to take care of her newborn niece and Annie's journal entries. The journal entries offer insight into how Annie ended up the way she did and they are heartbreaking in their honesty.
Aside from the obvious bond between the sisters another aspect I really enjoyed from the book was Lexie's fiance, Sam. What an amazing man! Honestly, I know he was fictional but he seriously made me swoon. He was so patient, loving and compassionate.
On the other hand, I was so infuriated by Lexie & Annie's mother. I just wanted to shake her to knock some sense into her!
"It’s funny how every single thing in your life can shatter with a single decision."
Though I knew what the ending would hold it still broke my heart. There were no surprises in the plot but the story was well told. It was thought-provoking regarding the issue of drug addicted pregnant women & mothers. It was also an honest look at addiction, family, loss, secrets, love and forgiveness. This story definitely has triggers so go into it aware but I feel that Kelly Rimmer handled these tough topics with compassion, hope and honesty.
Two sisters: one a physician the other a drug addict. One whose unborn baby's life is at risk. The consequences of being an addict and having your parental rights stripped. Then the struggle of doing what's right despite the love you have which has become a codependency. The sacrifices made.
This was a surprisingly engaging story told from both sister's POV.
It is also a foray into the depths of addiction and the struggle to come clean. The good days; the bad. The hopelessness and despair along with the strength required to get well; and the long road to healing and the necessary support systems that need to be in place to recover.
Rimmer delivers a blunt story of sobriety, of the legalities around pregnant addicted women and the stigma that attaches itself to them.
Well done. 4⭐️