Pair with a big box of tissues
Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan will break you and heal you ??
It had been a while since I read a story that shook me to the core. I alternated between free-flowing tears and audible sobs through more than half of this book. Before I Let Go is a great story for anybody with unresolved grief and open to some cathartic relief.
(Some spoilers in the description ahead.)
Told from dual points of view, Before I Let Go is the story of the demise of Yasmen and Josiah’s marriage. Their love story was the stuff fairytales are made of, but after they suffer the loss of Josiah’s aunt, followed closely by the stillbirth of their third child, they broke at the seams.
The way they each processed grief made them fundamentally incompatible. Yasmen embraced her feelings of loss and sadness and refused to let them go. Keeping herself together and being there for her kids was all she could do. Josiah, who at a young age had suffered the loss of both his parents in a car accident, was used to repressing his feelings and moving on, which caused Yasmen to deeply resent him. While Yasmen fell into a deep depression, Josiah channeled all his grief into saving their family restaurant.
A few years after the events that led to their divorce and after doing the work to process her grief, Yasmen is present and invested in recovering as much of her old life as she can. Josiah is ready to try to move on with the restaurant’s new chef. For different reasons, neither are open to rekindling their relationship. However, the love and attraction are still there, and neither can deny it. Will they choose the path that could bring them back together?
Grief is a grind. It is the work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier. A gaping hole has been torn into your existence, and everyone around you just walks right past it like it’s not even there.Before I Let Go, Kennedy Ryan
Kennedy Ryan’s words are unforgettable
Reading Before I Let Go was intense and beautiful. Kennedy Ryan blew me away with how perfectly she assigned words to feelings that sometimes feel indescribable. Even if you haven’t experienced the specific situations described in the book, grief is pretty universal, and I expect all readers will connect with this story. It’s impossible to read this book and not walk away from it a little changed.
Darienne was 15 when her aunt gave her a copy of Princess by Jean Sasson, and she has been hooked on books ever since. Originally from Puerto Rico and now living in Maryland, she’s always looking to visit new coffee shops and bookstores. Her favorite genres include YA, spicy romcoms, and women’s fiction. Thanks to the Bees, she’s also now obsessed with romantasy series. Other loves include lavender lattes, sassy coffee mugs, sunrises, sleeping in, small-town charm, and big city lights. One day, she’ll write that book that lives in her head.