I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker
Publication Date: Mar. 15, 2016
Indie Bookstores | Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Dear Luke,First let me say—I love you…I didn’t want to leave you.…
Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.
The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep. “
What legacy would I leave to my husband as I lay dying? What would I write to him about raising our 3 sons and finding happiness again? Would now be the time to reveal a lifelong secret?
Now that my tears have dried after finishing When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker, maybe I can make sense of the drama that unfolded in this book. In When I’m Gone, Luke loses his wife Natalie, the only girl he’s ever loved. He thinks their love is perfect and his wife could do no wrong.
Soon her letters begin to arrive from beyond the grave. Exuding all the personality of his late wife, Luke cherishes each little blue envelope he receives until Natalie begins to hint at the secrets she was keeping from him. Doubt creeps in, was their marriage as strong as Luke thought it was?
Family dramas where a spouse is keeping a secret always intrigue me. The mystery lover in me loves the mystery and the dramatic air of stories like The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve that I’ve read or The Husband’s Secret* by Liane Moriarity waiting on my bookshelf.
While the story’s premise is not a new one, I love the way Emily Bleeker unravels the mystery through a series of letters from the secret keeper herself. Sometimes in these types of dramas, we don’t know why the secret keeper feels the need to betray the ones they love and the surviving characters are wrought with angst and must come to grips with the truth they learn themselves. However, in When I’m Gone, the secrets are revealed slowly from Natalie’s own voice and perspective. Will they be enough to ease Luke’s grief?
Written with all the pain and emotion of someone dying from cancer, we see how cancer not only affects Natalie but her family and friends as well. After I finished this book, I see that the author is herself a rare cancer survivor with 4 children, that’s why Natalie’s story jumps right off the page and toys with my heart.
When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker was a well-written family drama and mystery wrapped into one and a story about how the secrets we keep haunt us and those we love most.
TLC Book Tour:
Stop by the TLC Blog Tour Page to see other bloggers’ reviews of When I’m Gone.
What books have you read that have juicy secrets? Any books you loved where ghosts spoke from beyond the grave? What do you think about When I’m Gone?