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Five Days Left Hardcover – September 9, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039916734X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399167348
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for FIVE DAYS LEFT

“A beautifully drawn study of what is at risk when you lose control of your own life. Unique, gripping, and viscerally moving—this impressive debut novel heralds the arrival of an extremely talented writer.”  —Jodi Picoult, New York Times–bestselling author of Leaving Time

“Timmer’s novel is a heartbreaker, but it is also a stirring debut.” —BookPage

"Timmer's emotional debut should come with a box of tissues....The characters are so affecting it's tough to make it to Day 5. An Authentic and powerful story." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Told in the alternating voices of Mara and Scott, Timmer’s debut novel packs a powerful punch. Absorbing, deeply affecting, and ultimately uplifting, it heralds the arrival of an author to watch.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“This starkly intimate epistolary novel …dissects the experiences of losing hope and finding strength….Timmer makes a powerful debut.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Like Joshilyn Jackson, Timmer, in her impressive debut novel, shows a facility for creating authentic characters dealing with heart-wrenching dilemmas….A compelling read and a good choice for book clubs.” —Booklist
 
Five Days Left is a heart-wrenching drama about a world in which there are no easy answers. With an unflinching gaze, Julie Lawson Timmer explores what makes a family, what happens when bonds (familial and otherwise) are tested, and the relationships we forge that change our lives. This novel feels as true as life.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Orphan Train
 
“Julie Lawson Timmer’s novel pulls no punches. It takes no prisoners. It is pure and honest. I sat down with this book after dinner, and, when I looked up, it was 2 a.m. and I had turned the last page. My only regret was that there weren’t a hundred more pages; Five Days Left is that compelling.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times–bestselling author, The Deep End of the Ocean
 
“An affecting, heart-wrenching tale of one woman’s descent into a progressive, fatal illness, and how she decides to take her fate into her own hands. Timmer handles delicate, controversial issues with deep insight into human nature, and ultimately renders a story that will stay with readers long after they reach the last page.” —Amy Hatvany, author of Heart Like Mine, Best Kept Secret, Outside the Lines, and The Language of Sisters
 
“A stunning debut about the impossible things we do for love. Heartbreaking yet uplifting, Five Days Left is a book I won't ever forget.” —Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of Catching Air, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, and The Best of Us
 
“In her beautiful, brave debut, Julie Lawson Timmer examines the limits of love and resilience—as well as the heartbreaking decisions parents must sometimes make. With a fresh revelation on every page, this novel is a gift.” —Camille Noe Pagán, author of The Art of Forgetting
 
“A lesson in compassion and grace.  An emotional journey that left me weeping, humbled, and ultimately hopeful.” —Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List
 

About the Author

Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Canada and earned a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and children and is a lawyer. This is her first novel; she is currently at work on her second.

More About the Author

Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario. She now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Dan, their four teenage children and two badly-behaved labs. She is a lawyer by day, a writer, mom/stepmom, fledgling CrossFitter and dreadful cook by night. FIVE DAYS LEFT is her first novel.

www.julielawsontimmer.com

Customer Reviews

I look forward to reading her next book.
Kathy F.
As Mara faces hard decisions daily in her work, she hasn't fought anything as hard as the personal one she must soon make.
Bingo-Karen Haney
Emotional, well written, wonderful character development.
Deborah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Whew...what gut-wrenching stories these were because actually there are two stories told here.

The first is about Mara, law partner, Type A personality, wife, mother of adopted Lakshmi, and adopted daughter herself with two loving parents. Then four years ago she is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease - and the disease is progressing rapidly.

The second story is about Scott, teacher, who chats on a forum for unusual families with Mara. He and his wife took an 8 year-old boy into their home, fostering him while his mother is in jail for one year. And the year is almost up.

This is a tearjerker of a tale, all the way through, as hard decisions are made and difficult subjects are discussed. But author Timmer did an excellent job of weaving the two stories together and she didn't hold back from hard truths.

I thought this was one of the best depictions of someone with a fatal disease that I've read. And, though it wasn't an easy story to read at all, it made me think (and cry).

Both stories are compelling and the characters beautifully portrayed. I thought the storylines were masterfully drawn. And all kinds of family bonds were explored, especially for non-traditional family units.

I hated to have this book come to an end. I was that engrossed with Mara's and Scott's stories.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Honest, thoughtful, bold and beautifully tragic, Five Days Left is a story of impossible goodbyes, heartbreak, love and loss, and learning to let go. The story of life and death, relationships, bonds and choices. Profoundly affecting, memorable and insightful, this book made a huge impression on me and I know I won't be able to get it out of my head for a very long time.

The story follows two plot lines that, though separate from each other and dealing with different subject matter, are also connected at the core and intertwined in many ways. First we have Mara, a hugely successful workaholic lawyer and an adoptive mother to Lakshmi, who one day discovers she has Huntington's Disease. Mara has always strived to be independent. She worked hard to achieve hear carrier goals and was just as dedicated to her job, as she was to her husband and daughter, possibly even more. For Mara, being a burden to her family is the worst fate she can imagine, and so she made a promise to herself that when her symptoms get worse, she'll say goodbye to her loved ones and will end her life on her own terms.

Then there's Scott. Scott is a foster parent to a young boy removed from unsafe and unfit environment. He's also a soon-to-be father to a baby girl. Scott has a bit of a "savior complex" according to his wife, he works with troubled children and is very passionate about what he does. Maybe a bit too passionate, too dedicated and too engaged in it all. His time with the boy he and his wife took in is coming to an end, though. The boy's mother is coming out of jail and she is taking the boy back.

Both Mara and Scott have five days left. Five days with their loved ones. Five days to say their goodbyes. Five days to let go.

Oh, what a great read this way!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Haggerty on November 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This novel had me so caught up in it from the first words that I forgot it was fiction. I cried probably a quarter of the way through the book. I would have to say that it was worth the emotional rollercoaster and the at times desperately sad parts for the story in its entirety. The plot was so unique to take Mara and Scott down two drastically different roads yet intertwined so smoothly. Both story lines came down to the wire and Ms. Timmer held her cards quite closely about the final results for Mara and Scott.

Timmer definitely deserves a 5+ for this riveting work that at times shows such love and such heartbreak that it does feel like a true story as you are reading it. For me, when a fiction work reads as nonfiction there is nothing better an author can achieve in fiction. If this is her first offering, I am anxiously awaiting novel number two. So, if you can take some serious love, serious heartache, are willing to face the possibility of crying, and willing to see what people may do for those they love, then this may be one of the best reads you will ever experience.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PattyLouise VINE VOICE on September 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Five Days Left
By
Julie Lawson Timmer

What I knew about this book before I read it...

I knew that this book was going to be sad...very very sad.

My thoughts after reading this book...

There is not much hope or joy going on in Mara's life...she has been living with Huntington's disease for four years...she was a high powered attorney working 12 hour days yet still caring for her young daughter and her handsome doctor husband. Then, suddenly, mood swings, tremors, incontinence, dropping things...with many more nightmares to come before she dies from this awful incurable illness. Mara and her family have just five days left until Mara's birthday when she puts her "plan" into action...

Scott...on the other hand...has a new baby on the way...and a young foster child whom he adores and cannot bear to part with...they have been together for a year...while Curtis's mom is in jail...Curtis and Scott have just five days left until Curtis is back with his mom again...

What I loved about this book...

I loved the stories of both families...both were sad yet kind of hopeful.

What I did not love about this book...

This book was really dark and depressing. I repeat...really dark and really depressing...the nightmare that occurred when Mara went to her daughter's school to help...older children called her a drunken lady...her daughter...her kindergarten daughter...did not want her to walk her to the bus or wait on the porch when the bus dropped her off. Then when she did not make it to the bathroom in time in the grocery store and a toddler made fun of her? Some of these scenes felt too staged to me...
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