Book Review: When I'm Gone

When I'm gone is novel by Emily Bleeker.

Luke and Natalie became best friends and fell in love in Jr. High school. Their relationship ends when Luke moves away, but they end up back together when they both end up freshmen at the University of Michigan. Fast forward eight years from when they first meet and they get married and have three children. Their life together is seemingly perfect. No secrets, no lies, and no abuse but then cancer comes along and everything changes. 

"They had lived the through the first three monthsof remission in a state of joy and nervous optimism. The day after her clear scans, Natalie stuck a magnetic yellow ribbon on her car and 3 months later her hair had finally grown in enough that she didn't have to deal with the looks of pity when they went out in public."

Together, they faced the initial diagnosis followed by remission and then metastasis. When Natalie loses her battle with cancer, life changes drastically for Luke and their children. Luke isn't sure how he is going to be able to handle being a single working dad and effectively managing their mental well-being, but little does he know Natalie had it all worked out before she passed. Her first letter to Luke arrives the day of her funeral and with each subsequent letter, Luke either learns what secrets Natalie has kept from him or how she has carefully planned for certain people to come into his and the kids' life. 

I began to read this book thinking the letters would chronicle Natalie's fight with cancer and how they would empower Luke to move on with life, but this book was so much more. The author masterfully blended in many unexpected events in the story that kept me engaged and in suspense. This is a novel I would definitely recommend to others.