My turn on the blog tour today for My Dear I Wanted You To Know by Laura Pearson
Dear Edie, I wanted you to know so many things. I wanted to tell you them in person, as you grew. But it wasn’t to be.
Jess never imagined she’d be navigating single motherhood, let alone while facing breast cancer. A life that should be just beginning is interrupted by worried looks, heavy conversations, and the possibility of leaving her daughter to grow up without her.
Propelled by a ticking clock, Jess knows what she has to do: tell her daughter everything. How to love, how to lose, how to forgive, and, most importantly, how to live when you never know how long you have.
From best-selling author Laura Pearson comes her most devastating book yet. Honest, heart-wrenching, and emotionally raw, I Wanted You To Know is a true love letter to life: to all its heartache and beauty, to the people we have and lose, to the memories and moments that define us.
Jessie (Jess) McKinley is only twenty years old and the single mother of a baby girl Edie who is only a few weeks old when she learns that not only is she suffering from breast cancer, but that she is terminally ill.
This wonderfully poignant and heartbreaking book is written in the form of letters written to Edie. In the short amount of time she has left Jess wants to convey to Edie how much she was loved and wanted. As a single mother to a single mother she is hoping to leave the letters in her mother Caroline’s safekeeping until Edie will be old enough to read the letters herself
Jess pours out heart and soul to Edie in the letters, beginning with how she’d met Erie’s father Jake when they were at university together.
Gemma, her friend from childhood is a constant in her life and is there for her throughout this period as she always has been.
Jess writes in one of her letters to Edie
Dear Edie, I wanted you to know that friends are everything. You’ll hear it a lot, that love will come and go but friends will always be there. It’s a cliché because it’s true. One of the things I hope most for you is that you have a friend like Gemma. Female friendship is important, perhaps even crucial.
Jess rarely saw her own father and couldn’t remember him and her mother ever being together, so brings Jake back into Eddie’s life. She builds up a support group for her daughter to be there for her when she is no longer around by including Jake, Gemma, her mother and father.
The last few letters to Edie nearly broke my heart and were so very hard to read. Even though I knew the inevitable would happen it was something I didn’t want to face.
Beautifully and sympathetically written with interesting, real characters facing a tragic hurdle experienced by many
This is a testament to the writing skill of Laura Pearson whose work I first admired in Missing Pieces.
Suberb, accomplished writing.and a writer to watch out for.
This book will be on my list of outstanding books of the year
Extract from a letter written by Laura Pearson that’s in the preface of this book.
A Letter from Laura Pearson
Dear Reader, When I was thirty-five, and five months pregnant with my second child, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. No one expects to have to face cancer at that age; no one expects their body to turn on them just when they are busy creating new life. I waited, with my heart in my mouth, to be told I was going to have to terminate. Instead, I was told I could be operated on during my pregnancy and start chemotherapy after the birth.
The first question I asked after diagnosis was whether I’d be able to breastfeed my daughter. I didn’t ask whether I was going to die. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to, but I always put it down to the fact that when you’re carrying a child, your instinct is to put that child first. I felt like I had to bring her into the world safely, no matter what. And with the help of the incredible NHS, I did.
When my daughter was seven days old and miles away from home in a special care unit after an incredibly shaky start, I had the first of six rounds of chemo. I’d held her perhaps twice at that point. She hadn’t been home. I wasn’t able to be any sort of a mother. I followed all the instructions I was given. Lie still while we surgically insert this port for administering the chemo drugs. Take this medication. Call us if your symptoms are worrying you. And in the back of my mind, I wondered whether I would survive it. Whether I would get to be her mother at all. My son was two and a half. We were still counting my daughter’s age in days. If I died, neither of them would remember me. It seems so impossible, that, when you’ve been a mother for more than two years and all those hundreds of days have been spent taking care of your child. When you have fed him from your body and sung him to sleep. When you have held him so often you can feel the warmth and weight of his body even when he isn’t there. But I knew that he would forget me, if I died, and she would never know me. And I wondered what I could leave them, what they would need if they didn’t have a mother.
When my treatment was over, I set myself the challenge of writing a 50,000-word first draft of a novel in the month of November.
It wasn’t easy. My daughter was home by then and both my children needed me. I was tired from the chemo and I had a small operation during that month and another big one ahead of me. But I’m stubborn, and I don’t always take the easy road, and this was one of those times. Day after day, I added 2,000 words to my document. This book that I was calling I Wanted You To Know. It was written in letters. It was about my fears, and it poured out of me, and every day I felt a little lighter for getting it out of my head …
With thanks to Agora Books for my copy of the book via NetGalley
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