Before I Go by Colleen Oakley


I probably shouldn’t have read Before I Go by Colleen Oakley. It is quite literally what my brother calls a ‘cancer story’ (he puts books/films/television shows into one of three categories*). Anyway, it was just too sad. Thank Christ there were no kids in the story.

So I’m not going to review this book in the usual way. If you want to know what it’s about, read this. Also know that whilst it’s essentially a sad story, it’s told in a chick-lit style – the main character, Daisy, makes jokes about her ‘Lots of Cancer’ and has a bucket-list that is focused on DIY tasks around her house – fixing squeaky doors, leaky windows and so forth. The bits that made me cry? All the bits about Daisy’s best friend, Kayleigh. Kayleigh is exactly the kind of friend you want, particularly if you have Lots of Cancer – practical, fun, ‘there’ (physically), staunch. So instead of a review as such, I’m giving thanks. Thanks for the friends in my life.

To my oldest and dearest friends (Steph, Ed, Jodes, MC, Leo) – I love you guys and although it’s not something we say very often, we should. I treasure our friendship.

To my uni friends (from the first time round) – thanks for assisting me to misspend some of my youth. In my opinion, uni students these days aren’t spending as much time at The Clyde as they ought.

To my mothers group – where do I even start? I hit the jackpot when I had a baby in August 2002 and lived in Hawthorn – those random facts combined and I was ‘allocated’ to the greatest group of women I could have ever hoped for.

To my ‘kinder’ and ‘school’ friends – you know when people ask kids if they’ve made some ‘new friends’ at school? Really, who cares about what the kids are doing, I’ve made TOP friends at school. Pick-up and drop-off isn’t a hassle, it’s time to hang-out with my friends. Fun. But they’re also the best support crew. The best.

To my book group girls – my eclectic bunch of reading friends that I only see every month or so (aside from extra opera trips and lunches…) but is always a great laugh. Sometimes we even talk about the book!

To my ex-work buddies – clocking all of those hours (as a shop assistant, then a swimming teacher and pool guard, then a public servant) would not have been something to look forward to you without you. Special mention to the Katies-chicks: we bonded over elastic-waisted crinkle-cotton sea-foam-green pants – those bonds are difficult to break.

And then there are my training pals; lovely Emily who’s in a class of her own; my tweeps (particularly those that I’ve met); and my blogging mates – thanks guys, you are a happy part of every single day.

This post is fast turning into an Academy-Awards-speech-quandary (i.e. who have I left out?). Have I made some glaring omission, friends? If I have, feel free to text me and tell me that I’m a moll. Suspect I’ll be back to edit.

I received my copy of Before I Go from the publisher, Gallery Books via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

* The categories being either cancer, rape or dildo stories. Charming, I know (but surprisingly accurate).


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