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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Tell Anyone...

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/261263

Oh I am so excited!  I had the privilege of previewing this title while Laurie was still working on it and have been waiting anxiously for the paperback to come out. But first, I will give you the short version, so you know what I'm talking about.

Estelle Trager would rather die outright than suffer from the breast cancer that devastated her mother. So when her own tumors are revealed, she asks her daughter-in-law, Liza, to kill her. Horrified, Liza refuses, but keeps the secret, and other things, from her angry husband. Can she convince Estelle to consider other options before cancer, secrets, and Estelle’s suicidal intentions win out? 

Now I know a few of you would jump at the chance to kill your mothers-in-law. (Not me, I love my MIL.."Hi Linda, I love you, dearie.") But nobody would actually consider it...would you? Estelle, who watched her own mother suffer and die from cancer, and although she saw the signs of her own illness...she basically chose to ignore them.  By the time a diagnosis has been made, Estelle decides she wants to die on her own terms and enlists the help of her daughter-in-law Liza; the girl she once referred to as a "godless hippie."  Of course, Liza refuses to be part of such a plan, but agrees to keep the diagnoses a secret from Estelles son Adam, who is also her Type-A, anal-retentive, control freak husband who also has obvious sibling rivalry issues regarding his brother Charlie, whom Liza briefly dated before him. (Yes all this is happening, and yes, it all works.)

Well, anyway, you may think this is one of those sappy, "everyone pulls together in times of strife" lifetime movie type book, but, no.  Cancer doesn't work that way. Cancer is scary. People's feelings and wishes often get overlooked when others become hell bent on saving them. Nobody is on the same page here, just as it often is in times like this. Liza is a nutritionist and spends most of the time trying to shove wheat grass and herbal tea into Estelle, who doesn't want any part of it. Adam is hell bent on treatment no matter what, and Charlie just sits back and tries his best to put out whatever fires pop up.  Estelle just wants to live as she always has, eating what she wants, drinking what she wants, and taking care of herself. Nobody wants to listen to her and wind up treating her like a child which angers this fiesty old bird to no end. 

I got to read this wonderful novel at a time when all these things were actually happening to me. My dear Aunt Judi was diagnosed with cancer and kept it a secret from us until she had two months left. The family lost their minds. Some wanted treatment, some wanted to let her live out her life in peace, and Aunt Judi was Aunt Judi to the very end. Organized and efficient, she made sure we all got what she wanted us to have. She let us help her when she needed it, and shooed us away when she didn't. We all got to be with her when this wonderful woman left this earth and it was the most precious moment in my life, so this novel hit me extremely hard. I identified with some characters, was angry at others, developed a little crush on Charlie and loved them all, especially Estelle. The whole story is brilliantly written and woven together so well you feel like you are reading about your own family.

Don't Tell Anyone is available now on Smashwords, and will be available soon for kindle and paperback on Amazon.com. For less than the price of a latte, you can experience a story you will never forget.