Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Mara has five days left. Diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, the cruel and fatal disease is methodically destroying her life. Already she has been forced to retire from her career as a successful lawyer and now she feels the symptoms breaking down her cherished relationships with her husband and her young daughter. Determined to make the choice while she is still able to do something about it, Mara is planning her suicide.
For the past year, Scott and his wife have been fostering eight year old Curtis whose mother is in jail. Scott has developed a rich and meaningful relationship with the boy and is devastated by the fact that Curtis will soon be returning to live with his mother who has been released. They have five days left.
Julie Lawson Timmer ties the two stories together in her debut novel Five Days Left. Definitely the more dominant of the two is the detailing of the hellish symptoms of Huntington's Disease and laying Mara's tender and conflicted emotions bare. Timmer doesn't tell the most easy-to-read story. It's brutal and it will rip your heart out. It might cause a lump in your throat and an uncomfortable sinking feeling in your gut. But it allows the reader to have empathy. To experience. To comprehend.
After the recent and tragic death of beloved actor Robin Williams and the suggestion that the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease influenced William's choice, Five Days Left becomes an even more timely story. Mara's story is compelling. Confronted by her conflicting thoughts and justifications, I still don't fully feel comfortable with her decision but I could sympathize with her. I could understand better.
Before reading this novel, I knew very little about the horrors of Huntington's Disease. Five Days Left definitely opened my eyes. It's a novel that forces the reader to feel and to think. It challenges my preconceived ideas. This is the power of the novel and why I love to read.
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer is published by Putnam and released on September 9, 2014.
**I received a complimentary copy of Five Days Left. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**
Posted by Cindi at 3:30 AM