Before I Let You Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 May 2018

Member Reviews

Annie doesn’t just come into your life and pass through it. She takes prisoners and leaves a trail of destruction.”

What a complex and beautiful story! I applaud the author for tackling the painful reality of drug addiction and the toll it takes on families and our society as a whole. Literally no one is left untouched by addiction and too often we rush to judgment. Kelly Rimmer treats the topic with great care and sensitivity. Sisters Lexie and Annie Vidler could not be more different. Lexie is a doctor with a wonderful fiancé named Sam and a lovely home. She has bailed her sister Annie out of trouble their entire lives. But this time when Annie called, she is truly desperate: she is pregnant, alone and very ill.

Lexie is fearful of the disruption that Annie will cause in her life, for good reason. An addict’s behavior can be self-centered and wildly unpredictable. But Annie is in dire straits and now there is a baby to consider.

“This is what happens whenever Annie reenters my life—things fall to bits, and she’s always oblivious to how the effects f low on and on beyond her. It’s remarkable how one person’s presence can disrupt every little thing that is ordinarily secure.”

The gripping story is told in the present and past, both from Lexie’s viewpoint and from Annie’s journal entries. The two sisters were both subjected to a very rough and horrifying childhood but why was one of them able to overcome their past, while the other fell victim to addiction? I felt so much compassion for both sisters and felt that the author was able to tell both their stories with great compassion and with no judgment.

The arrival of Annie’s baby changes everything and Annie is forced to go to rehab, where she had been many times before with no success. Lexie steps in and along with Sam, try their best to deal with a painful and heart-wrenching situation. Will this baby be the final straw that pushes Annie to finally overcome her addiction?

“She’s just so beautiful. I can’t believe something so perfect came out of me.”

I feel that this book is required reading for everyone. The reasons for addiction are many and every person with a drug problem deserves to have their story told. This book also is a sad commentary on the way pregnant drug addicts are treated in the United States. While I felt that the social worker in this book was a bit overdramatized, the description of child protection services was generally accurate.

My heart broke while listening to this story and the narrators were absolutely fantastic. Lexie’s devotion to her sister was simply stunning and ultimately life-affirming. Above all, this book is reminds us that nothing in life is ever black and white. Emotional and intensely gripping, ‘Before I Let You Go’ is highly recommended!

“I cry for the Annie who went into that community, I cry for the broken creature who escaped six years later, and I cry for the baby who one way or another is going to pay a price for her mother’s pain.”
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Oh my goodness. Talk about an emotional journey! Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer will certainly take you on a crazy ride of high’s and lows.

Addiction. Although I am sure it is extremely hard for the addict to go through themselves, I always end up thinking about the loved ones that have tried to help them as much as they can but never end up succeeding. That’s just how Lexie Vidler feels when it comes to her sister Annie. Although Lexie has been down this road many times with Annie, after not hearing from her for years, a 2 a.m. phone call will soon change everything.

“Just like love—in the early moments, you don’t see the potential for it to bring you pain—it’s just something you slide into between laughs and smiles and moments of bliss. It’s something that feels like a shield, until you realize it’s actually a warhead, and it’s pointed right at you.”

You get two POV’s while reading Before I Let You Go, each one filled with compassion and pure heartbreak. Present day is told by Lexie and you really get all the emotional feels while reading her words. Then you get Annie’s story, starting from when they were children all the way up until the end. You get understanding of Annie and really, you can’t help but like both characters.

After reading a few of Kelly Rimmer’s books, I am finding out how much meaning she puts behind each story. I don’t close any of her books without feeling some type of intense emotion or attachment to each one and I absolutely love that about her powerful writing.

If you are looking for a story about a strong sister bond, that you might just need to grab a couple tissue’s while reading then Before I Let You Go is for you! It has an important meaning with a bittersweet ending and I highly recommend it!
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This is a story about addiction. It involves family secrets that test the strength of the bond of sisters. This novel will challenge you to examine your thoughts and feelings toward addiction and the effects it has on the addict as well as their families. My mind was swimming with my thoughts and reactions as the story progressed.
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Before I Let You Go was a so so read for me. The point of view switches back and forth between the sisters and at times I found that quite distracting. The distraction came into play when I felt the chapters were becoming repetitive. Kelly Rimmer offers readers a story of addiction and it's long and short term effects on a family. I thought she did a respectful job of portraying all sides of the issue. I cant say I was entertained, but I also couldnt say Before I Let You Go wasnt a worthwhile read.  I'd be willing to try something else from Kelly Rimmer. 
(note that the author is Australian, and some of her idioms creep into the story., if that bothers you)
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Before I let you go is my first ever Kelly Rimmers and after this I’m sure I’ll read her future books and try to get my hands on her previous works as well.

This is a story of two sisters who lives are completely polar opposites, about addiction, about love, about all the trauma one could suffer before breaking down. I devoured this book under one day and was invested in the sisters lives till the end.

The cover and almost contemporary-young-adult sounding novel title fooled me. I thought it would be something of a light and fluffy read and once I finish this book my life would move on. But how wrong was I!! I finished this book more than a month ago and I'm still stuck with it. Alexis and Annie Vidler are thrown into myriad of problems right from their mother’s depression to drug addiction after their Fireman father passes away in an accident. Even though the story seemingly directed towards being a mystery/thriller, I could guess the “events” which lead to the ending. However, I was hoping the “end part” to be on happier side but whatever the author decided as the closure to all characters was completely justified and didn’t leave me hanging. 

This was a 4 star read for me and I would highly recommend this book as at least one time read.
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It was a powerful story and totally heartbreaking and very touching. It was emotional and poignant. Touched so many things, I was conflicted at times but overall I enjoyed this emotional and heart breaking tale of loss , pain and drug addiction.
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4 stars

Kelly Rimmer is fast becoming one of my favorite family drama authors.  She gets down into the messy details and continually tugs at your heart strings.  I don’t think I have read anything by her that hasn’t left me a sobbing mess at the end.  

The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Lexi & Annie, which allows you to really get to know these sisters.  Both of these women are so damaged, but you just cannot help but feel for them.  I spent plenty of time shaking my head at their continually poor decisions, but regardless, I felt for them and felt quite bonded to these characters.

There are a lot of heavy topics in this novel: drug abuse, physical abuse, addiction in adults and newborn infants, there isn’t much that Rimmer doesn’t throw at us in Before I Let You Go.  However, all of this comes together to create quite a poignant story of 2 sisters and the depths of love and family.  Highly recommended (with a side of tissues).
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Before I Let You Go was really hard for me to read. I don't mind reading books that make me uncomfortable, but there are no words to truly describe how awful child abuse is. Children trust adults to love and take care of them, and they shouldn't have to worry about someone hurting them physically or psychologically. They're impressionable, and if you tell them something long enough, and with enough force, they're likely to believe it themselves.

Kelly Rimmer touches on a lot of difficult subjects that both angered and saddened me. My heart broke for Annie, Lexie, Daisy, their mom, and even Sam. No one was untouched by the addiction and abuse, because they were all connected in some way. It effected the lives of everyone, but some more than others. Daisy is a sweet, innocent child that had no say in how she was born into this world. The fact that a newborn had to suffer through withdrawals killed me. I don't know what I would have done as a parent in that situation, or a relative in Lexie's case.

However, even though I was disgusted with Annie for allowing this to happen to her child, I also know that she suffers from an addiction, which is an illness. Addiction should be treated and people should be offered help instead of condemnation. We can never truly know someone's past, or what happened in their life that started them on a path of self-destruction. They are still people. A lot of states prosecute mothers who test positive for drugs when they are pregnant. It's a felony, and the rights of their child are given to someone else (while the mother is still pregnant). Annie's doctors had to get permission from the baby's guardian to perform an emergency C-section. She had no say over what happened to her own body, and even the medications she was prescribed had to go through someone other than her doctors.

I understand that the law wants to do what's best for the baby, but what about the mother? They only care about the baby while it's in the womb. They stop giving a shit the second it's born and can be placed in foster care. They'll still do whatever they can to punish the mother, but they don't give any more thought to the child or their future. How about putting more money into the foster care system? They could also offer to help the mothers instead of taking them away from their babies. I know this isn't the case for every mother with an addiction, but surely there are better ways for their situations to be handled.

Like I said, this book gave me a lot to think about, and it also challenged my views on addiction and how it affects people. As for the story, it was difficult to get through at times, but it was powerful. There are a lot of important things being said, and it's hard to wish for one specific outcome.

Lexie frequently got on my nerves. She was incredibly stubborn and insisted on doing everything herself. However, she does recognize this about herself, so that made her poor decisions easier to forgive. She was struggling to cope with everything being thrown at her, and she's used to doing it alone. It was easy for her to forget that Sam wanted to help. He also wanted her to be able to ask for it. Their relationship was sweet, but we also see their ups and downs as the story progresses. Taking on a baby, dealing with a relative in rehab, work--the logistics of it all is maddening. They were truly a team, though, especially when it mattered most.

If it were possible for me to reach into the book and pull Lexie's mom out, I would have done it in an instant. I wanted to shake her until she realized how blind and disturbingly obedient she was being. I understand that she was grieving, but your children should always come first. They should always be your main priority, and you should listen when they have something to say.

This book made me shake with anger, cry with helplessness, and wish for the impossible. I cared about all of these characters individually, and I really wanted their lives to work out in the best possible way. Before I Let You Go is a poignant story that makes you view things from a different perspective, feel every emotion imaginable, and appreciate the things in life you may have taken for granted.
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I know a book by Kelly Rimmer will be an emotional ride before I even start reading! She writes really well and creates characters and situations that deserve to be further explored. Before I Let You Go centers around the relationship between sisters, addiction, loss and sadness. It is a heavy book, definitely not fluffy chick lit, but I felt it was well done and thought provoking. I will happily read more by this author in the future!
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“Addiction is... just like love -in the early moments, you don’t see the potential for it to bring you pain- it’s something you slide into between laughs and smiles and moments of bliss. It’s something that feels like a shield, until you realize it’s actually a warhead, and it’s pointed right at you.”

This is a story of two sisters. Lexie finally has her life together when her drug addicted sister calls her in the middle of the night needing help... she’s pregnant and can’t go to the hospital because she’ll be arrested for child endangerment. Lexie wants to help because the baby is in danger, but she’s tired of constantly bailing Annie out.

I am utterly amazed by how well written this book was. You will open this book with your preconceived ideas and judgements of drug addiction, and you will close the book thinking about human compassion, mental health, and an aching heart.

This book packs the emotional punch of some of my most beloved novels by Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah. It was powerful, it was moving, but it was also so authentic and gut wrenching. If you’re looking for a book to take you on an emotional roller coaster, then I highly recommend you pick this one up.
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Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer is story of loss, addiction and heartache.   While the book is very well written, it is quite depressing.   Due to the subject matter, there  are no high points to the novel.   Each character has so much drama and angst it is hard to really like them.  I wanted to like this book because  I really enjoyed Rimmer’s previous novel, Me Without You.  However, this one felt a bit rushed and melodramatic.
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Thank you to #Negalley and the publisher. I received this for free in exchange for a free review. 

Kelly Rimmer did a great job on this book. We are introduced to 2 sister that have not spoken in 2 years until one morning at 2 am, Lexie Vidler, gets a phone call from her sister with unexpected news. Her sister is high again and this upsets Lexie. While on the phone,  her sister, Annie,  announces that she thinks she is dying.

This story is a must read.
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Before I Let You Go generated many mixed feelings for me. Kelly Rimmer does an excellent job of character development, and handles a hard topic (addiction, particularly how addiction affects the fetus and newborn child) very well. I enjoyed her skills with regards to emotions and family dynamics too. 

This book would have rated a higher review from me if one thing had been different: this story could have been told in half the number of pages. There were sections of the book where it felt like she became "stuck" saying the same thing over and over again. Monotony and boredom ensued until she seemed to get on with the story again. This happened again, and again. Please give your readers some credit, Ms. Rimmer. We can pick up what you're trying to tell us without saying the same thing in a multitude of ways. Keep the story flowing... I felt as if I were being hit over the head with a skillet with you asking "did you get it yet?!?"

There is so much talent here that I'll consider this a fluke unique to this book. I look forward to reading another of her books.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Graydon House for allowing me to read and review an e-copy of this book.
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Before I Leave You by Kelly Rimmer was a disturbingly real story of a family torn apart  - seemingly by drugs.   I was instantly drawn into the story of sisters Lexie & Annie and so wanted everything to work out well for them both.   The writing had the feel of a pyschological thriller so I anticipated a twist.   I was wrong.    Unless of course you count the way my heart was twisted and torn as their story unfolded and the real cause of their strife became clear.  

The unravelling of the once happy Vidler family began when their father died unexpectedly.     His wife was unable to move beyond her grief and re-married a man belonging to the Exclusive Brethren.     During this time eldest daughter Lexie morphed from Annie's big sister into a quasi-mother role.    When Lexie escaped the cult at age 16 taking her education & future into her own hands she unwittingly left her beloved 12 year old Annie in danger.    At the hands of her (choose your own adjective - psycho/a-hole/evil) stepfather and less than useless mother, Annie was driven to acting out, self loathing and - in an eventual cause and effect chain of events - drug abuse.  Fast forward to the present and the adult Lexie has had success whilst Annie's life has been one long downward spiral.    She's now pregnant, she's still a heroin addict and desperately needs medical assistance so calls upon Lexie despite a two year estrangement.   In seeking medical assistance Annie will almost certainly be imprisoned for chemically endangering her unborn child.     This is an actual law in Alabama and though the reason for its introduction was well intentioned this story helps readers see the implications from all sides.   None of which are easy or pleasant.

This story was not only about how and why it all went horribly wrong but it was an examination of the decades of hurt, guilt and the torture Lexie experienced at feeling helpless to bring her beloved Lexie's life back on course.    At times it was a study in frustration and I empathised with both sisters.      Sure Annie made one poor choice after the next but hearing her version of events made it all the sadder.    I was infuriated by their mother and simply do not understand how a mother could harden herself to the plea's of a daughter in trouble, in favour of submitting to her husband's demands.     Whilst the Epilogue somewhat remedied this I couldn't help feeling their mother's changes had been too little too late. 

This gritty and incredibly sad story unfortunately felt true to life and for this reason it was not only moving but important.    Thanks to the author,  HARLEQUIN - Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada) and NetGalley for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I read A Mother’s Confession by Kelly Rimmer last year and totally fell in love with this author’s writing. I couldn’t resist getting an ARC of Before I Let You Go. 

This is the story of Annie and Lexie, two sisters whose relationship is strained by a drug addiction. Lexie is a doctor engaged to Sam, also a doctor. The couple has a good life together. On the other hand, Annie has had a drug addiction for many years. Her situation is further complicated when she uses drugs while pregnant hence putting herself and the baby in danger.  In addition, she faces possible imprisonment for child endangerment.

The story is narrated by the two sisters in alternating chapters. Lexi’s narrations are set in the present time. Readers get a glimpse of how her life has changed since Annie’s call for help. Annie’s narrations are through journal entries first addressed to her therapist and then to her sister. Through her narration, readers get to understand her journey with the addiction.

This story has a number of heavy themes such as drug abuse and road to recovery, child abuse, religion, family relations and laws on addiction. I think the character development was done very well. I was able really relate with Lexie because of my own experiences. I know how it feels to have a loved one struggling with addiction. I was also able to sympathize with Annie and understand her struggles. The battle that she was facing with the addiction and the struggle to rebuild her life was heart wrenching.

This book certainly gave me all the feels. Given that I could relate with some of the characters, I found myself getting so emotional such that I had to take breaks between reading. The book also brought back some painful memories. However, it also helped me examine one of my current relationships. It made consider the perspective of someone battling with addiction. In the end, I wish I was as strong as Lexie with her unwavering support.

This is a captivating, thought-provoking read. The author’s research into the themes was evident in how detailed and carefully they were presented. This ended up being informative without deviating from the captivating, main story-line. Definitely recommended.
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A hopeful yet heartbreaking story of two sisters that touched my heart. I was sympathetic to Annie the drug-addicted sister who’s chemical dependency had grown out of being terrorized by her cult leader step-father for far too long before she got the courage to run away. Such a powerfully written character who I invested in and prayed would have a happy ever after. She seemed that real. Add into the mix an innocent baby born to drug-addicted Annie who must also go through the painful process of detox. A sobering reminder of drug addiction’s devastating impact on a family.
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Before I Go is a poignant novel about family and unexpected changes. The story begins with Annie reaching out to her sister Lexie right before the birth of her (drug addicted) baby. Lexie agrees to kinship care while Annie deals with the legal ramifications of doing drugs while pregnant (and also agreeing to rehab). 

The present situation is told from Lexie’s POV while Annie’s chapters delve into the past. Their dad died when they were young and their mom remarried a man name Robert who brings them to a religious community which strongly resembles a cult. Through Annie’s “journal” entries we learn of the suppression, control, and abuse they (Annie especially) suffered at the hand of Robert and others. 

As Lexie adjusts to taking care of an infant, Annie struggles in rehab. They have a very codependent relationship that was interesting (and often times frustrating) to read about. 

I have to say I grew irritated with the way Lexie treated Sam, her fiancé. He was so kind and supportive of her family situation and yet she just kept pushing him away and being defensive. At one point Sam tells her “sometimes, I think you don’t know me at all,” and honestly, many times it felt that way.

The ending is bittersweet yet fitting. Rimmer created an emotional, moving novel that tugs at your heartstrings.
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I was so lucky to be able to read and review this book. First of all it's unputdownable so when you do pick up this book be warned that you will ignore everything else so you can just read this book. I advise you to set an alarm if you need to be somewhere because you will loose track of time. It wasn't an easy book to read at times. Oh and grab a box of Kleenex because you will so be sniffling. And be prepared for the book hangover you will have after you finish. I don ever give out spoilers but I loved it all from the strong plot to the characters that you become emotionally attached to. It all blended into an amazing book and I am so looking forward to reading more books from this author. Happy reading!

loved
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I really thought this was going to be a suspense/thriller according to the title. However, I could not be farther from the truth. While there was a mystery, it was far from what I thought it would be.

The story of two sisters, their shared love for each other and their distrust and hatred of their stepfather. A man who loved using God's words to inflict pain and suffering to females around him. A man who I really wanted to hurt, badly.

This was a really, really sad story with lots of secrets that did end up with a somewhat happy conclusion. The road getting to that conclusion was one that I was glad that I signed up for. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would recommend it to others who like real life stories that include ugly mysteries.

Thanks to Harlequin-Graydon House Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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Many, many, aspects of this book captivated my attention and tore at my heart.  Kelly Rimmer writes with exactness so there is no chance of getting lost in descriptive details, which I appreciate.

I found the opening pages powerful and they had me initially connect with both Annie and Lexie.  Like some other reviewers though, I found Lexie frustratingly standoffish with her husband Sam and was constantly on edge with my desire to yell at her to listen to him and let him fully into her world. He truly had the patience of a saint.  In fairness, as Annie explores her past and their mutual history as children, I can see why Lexie pushes people away.  She must innately feel as if she's hard to love and accept and she's protecting herself by not letting Sam in completely.

Annie's story is intense and heart breaking and the baby involved just breaks your heart further. Most disturbing for me though was their mother who dragged them into a cult from which she had previously escaped herself?  I just couldn't grasp this at all, and then to know your daughters are being abused by your new husband and do nothing?  Unfathomable to me, even considering her grief...  I could not get on board with her at all.  But I suppose it made Lexie and Annie’s troubles more expected?  Her reappearance didn’t add to the novel or either daughter’s progress- I wish she’d been left in the past.

Overall the book is very powerful for its exploration of drug addiction but be prepared to be a little edgy with the subject matter and frustration level.


Thank you to Graydon House Books for our review copy.   All opinions are our own.
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