Before Danielle can fully process this announcement, Smidge shares her final request (more of a demand, really). She wants Danielle to marry her husband, raise her 13 year-old daughter, and take over her life after she dies. Danielle is sworn to secrecy about the request and the cancer.
Smidge's personality is bossy, manipulative, and infuriating - she is a force. When she shares her plan, Danielle doesn't know how to tell her no, even though there is no way she could possibly say yes.
I love that the book was written as a letter from Danielle to Smidge's daughter Jenny, years later. It is Danielle's attempt to tell Jenny the entire truth about her mother, their relationship, and the choices they made. She starts with, "Jenny, I've got this hunch that if you're reading this, your other hand is currently holding a lit match," and I was hooked immediately.
I'm not going to give away anything else about the book. I don't want to take away from the moments you will find yourself laughing at the most inappropriate times by hinting at them. Because you will be laughing.
I read it in one sitting, unable to put it down. I dried my eyes, and sent out this tweet, which really explains the book in its entirety:
I just finished @pamelaribon's You Take It From Here. Laughed and cried buckets of tears simultaneously.And then I sent my best friend a
— Tracie(@fromtracie) June 19, 2012
If the standard of a good book is the emotions it conveys, the thoughts it sparks, and the way you find it touching your life after you close the pages, because the story sits with you (and I think it is), then this book is more than good. It is spectacular.
You Take it From Here will be released on July 3rd. Make sure you pick up a box of tissues when you get your copy, so you will be prepared. Once you finish it, and realize you want more Pamela Ribon in you life, you can check out her three other novels, and her blog at Pamie.com.
I have loved Pamie since I first found her writing recaps of Gilmore Girls at TelevisionWithoutPity back in 2000, and eventually found my way to her blog. It was one of the first blogs I ever read, and is part of the reason I am here writing, today. Just thought you should know that. I tried not to let my love influence my thoughts about the book. It wasn't that hard to do, because the book stands on its own.
Legal Stuff: I received a free copy of the book from Rare Bird Lit. I was not compensated in any other way, and I was not required to say nice things.