The first thing I think is absolutely perfect about this book is the cover. I love the image and colors for a Fall lay down date in stores. The second thing Before I say Goodbye has going for it is that it made me cry. Which is no small task...it takes a lot to make me cry. This one is a tear jerker. Rikki Crockett has returned to her childhood home with a teenage daughter and young son in tow. With both of her parents gone and a sure but sad future ahead of her she is seeking out her best childhood friend Dante, now married and Bishop of the local church. Each person in these two families is impacted as past meets present. Beth, Dante's wife is suspicious of why Rikki would show up again after all these years, Dante is wary to get emotionally involved on top of his ever present responsibilities as leader and father.
Told from several different perspectives, Before I Say Goodbye is a slow moving character driven story. At times I struggled with the slowness and monotony of the storyline. Rikki, main character is one I couldn't very well identify with either. She reminded me of some of the same gypsy like protagonists Nunes has used in her Autumn Rain novels and for some reason there is always an emotional disconnect for me there. But the amazing part is that I had a complete turn around my the conclusion of the book and found myself in tears. While the cynical part of me has a hard time believing there are families out there like Dante and Becca I know there are. There are those also in a church group who would swoop in and offer service when needed. Before I Say Goodbye offers hope to struggling families and those mourning loss. I would recommend it as a clean read for ages 16 and older only because the writing and theme feels more adult. Nunes shows the power one or two people can have on other people's lives and gracefully portrays the final months of someone with terminal illness. Thanks so much to Desert Book for the inspiring read!