Publish September 9, 2014 by Putnam Adult
Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer, and devoted wife and adoptive mother, has recently been diagnosed with a terminal disease. Scott Coffman, a middle school teacher, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Scott and Mara both have five days left until they must say good-bye to the ones they love the most. Through their stories, Julie Lawson Timmer explores the individual limits of human endurance, the power of relationships, and that sometimes loving someone means holding on, and sometimes it means letting go.
This is a tough story. A mother, Mara, who is losing control of her life due to Huntington’s Disease and contemplating ending her life to save her husband and young daughter from having to see her digress more and more. Then there is Scott, a soon to be father who has taken temporary custody of a troubled young boy only to have to have return him to his mother soon. Neither of these topics are light and fluffy. This is a bold and thoughtful story that is honest in telling the story of these two people and their families. Julie Lawson Timmer is extremely talented in the care she takes in dealing with these tough topics.
I loved that there was two separate plot lines that were connected only through an anonymous on line support community. Although each character was fighting their own battle, their own way, they were strangely tied together. I was cheering for each one throughout the entire story. There were also many times I was in tears, scared for where the story was heading. This was a very emotional story.
I could not stop reading. I wish I had read this with my book club as I can already here the conversations that we would be having and the heated discussions that would happen. Five Days Left is not a book that I will forget about anytime soon.
“A beautifully drawn study of what is at risk when you lose control of your own life. Unique, gripping, and viscerally moving – this impressive debut novel heralds the arrival of an extremely talented writer.” — Jodi Picoult, New York Times-bestselling author of The Storyteller and Lone Wolf
“FIVE DAYS LEFT is a heart-wrenching drama about a world in which there are no easy answers. With an unflinching gaze, Julie Lawson Timmer explores what makes a family, what happens when bonds (familial and otherwise) are tested, and the relationships we forge that change our lives. This novel feels as true as life.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
“Julie Lawson Timmer’s novel pulls no punches. It takes no prisoners. It is pure and honest. I sat down with this book after dinner, and, when I looked up, it was 2 a.m. and I had turned the last page. My only regret was that there weren’t a hundred more pages; Five Days Left is that compelling.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times–bestselling author, The Deep End of the Ocean
“In her beautiful, brave debut, Julie Lawson Timmer examines the limits of love and resilience—as well as the heartbreaking decisions parents must sometimes make. With a fresh revelation on every page, this novel is a gift.”—Camille Noe Pagán, author of The Art of Forgetting