Don't Be Afraid Kindle Edition
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Cancer is insidious, and has affected every one of us through our friends or family. And in the telling of Patrick and Sawyers’ story, CA has told the story of so many young couples who have lived it. Even I knew a friend of a friend whose life was exactly this.
The words are loaded with emotion, and please, do not let me put you off when I say that I cried until it was hard to read through the tears. You will absolutely be missing out on one of your top reads for 2018.
Patrick and Sawyer have a passionate love and marriage. Things weren’t always perfect, but it only served to strengthen their love, and they were both beautifully balanced characters suffering all the foibles of being vulnerable and human. Add to the mix the strong and loyal friendship that Gage has had with Patrick since childhood, and you have the perfect storm of love, loss, anger, acceptance, moving on slowly and discovering love once again. My words cannot give justice to the beauty of the this book.
I also know, that I’ll never look at that cover again without crying. 5 stars for a book that must be read.
Now, in the spirit of my 2018 ugly cry reading, I’d best go look for that other book.
There are not enough positive words to explain what this book did to me. I started reading it at work and didn't care that I was crying in front of everyone.
The characters and real feel situation are absolutely amazing. The story will make you appreciate your loved ones and cherish what you have. If nothing, taken that away when you read this book. CHERISH EVERYTHING!
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Just remember that you'll cry alot (both happy and certainly sad ones). The story and all the characters will stay on your mind long after you finish.
We spend the first part of the book with Patrick and Sawyer, a young married couple. We see their undying love and devotion, their bickering and teasing and their hopes and dreams. They have a home they’ve purchased and are planning to fix up, fill with children and grow old together in. Then Sawyer reveals to Patrick that she’s pregnant, on the same day he gets devastating, life altering news.
The focus then shifts to dealing with all the emotions of terminal illness. The desperation to make each day, each moment, count, and store up as many memories as possible. The devastation of watching the one you love leave little by little, bit by bit, day after day, as pieces of your heart leave with them. The crippling grief, paralyzing fear and raging anger at the loss and unfairness of it all. And then, the wreckage that is left after the person you thought you would spend your life with is gone, and no amount of praying or wishing or dreaming will bring them back.
Then finally comes the journey of healing. Whether she wants to or not, Sawyer has to go through the motions, at the very least. She has a young daughter who needs her and family who refuse to let her fall. Patrick’s family is her family, and his best friend, Gabe, is her best friend. They’re determined to honor Patrick, keep his memory alive, and keep the promises made to be there and take care of Sawyer and baby Abigail.
This book gutted me. It shattered my heart and ripped my soul to shreds with its relatable, down-to-earth characters and everything they faced. If you’ve ever lost a loved one to terminal illness or know someone who has, you’ll see all of those old emotions stirred up and brought to the surface as you experience this story. From Sawyer expecting Patrick to be sitting there when she walks into a room to Gabe's guilt trying to keep his word, it will all ring true. But piece by piece, Ms. Harms put me back together and healed my heart right along with these amazing characters. Through the support and interactions from the various parental figures, even making me laugh at Gabe's mother. Through the delight of watching Abby develop and the adults in her life teaching her about her father. Through Sawyer finding herself smiling and laughing, and through Gabe resolving his guilt and giving himself permission to love his girls fully and completely.
And is it wrong that I have a huge girl crush on Patrick’s sister, Willow? A secondary character, but a significant one, she’s the voice of experience and wisdom who's not too grown up to wear princess pajamas with her niece. I’d love to see her have her own HEA story because it will take a very special man to be her hero and I’m so not ready to let go of these characters! I may be going through my own stages of grief now that this book is over. It easily gets a place on my list of top ten of all time and is one I’ll return to again and again. If you only read one book this year, make it this one. It will stay with you long after the last page, and your life will be richer for having read this phenomenal, beautiful, heartfelt story.