May 23 2006
Dear Ms. Orloff:
Keishon blogged the other day about books that make you cry and whether they are to be avoided and embraced. We decided that it is all about expectations. The title tells the ultimate conclusion to properly prepare the reader but I definitely wished it turned out different. I was touched and charmed by this story of great friendship, loss and recovery.
The story is almost more about Michael, the best friend, than it is about Lily. One element in romances that is often overlooked is the power of friendships. I don’t know many women who don’t have close friends and this book is about how friends who are like family members can get you through anything.
Michael and Lily have been friends for 20 years. They have seen each other through the AIDS scare of the 80s, her divorce and now her cancer. The story is told from both Michael and Lily's POV and it is about Lily’s struggle with cancer, her fears for her children’s future, and her mourning of life itself. I don't know that anyone's life is free from the cancer taint. This story does not delve deeply beyond the surface of the cancer but it is enough to show us the sadness of loss and the joy of life.
Ironically, both Michael and Lily find someone in the late stages of her cancer and knowing that Michael wouldn't totally be alone helped me through it. It's not a book I will read again soon, but I will read it again someday, if only to evoke those feelings of joy and sadness once again. This story really touched me and isn't that the best praise you can give a book. A – for your book.