Book Review: "Before I Let Go" by Kennedy Ryan

I have not cried from a book since "Temple of My Familiar" by Alice Walker. 

With "Before I Let Go" I cried a couple of times.  I saw myself in this novel.

This story takes us through the hurt, pain, and deep love of Yasmen and Josiah, who divorced because the trauma and tragedy of their relationship was too much to hold on to a marriage.  Ryan masterfully takes us through the deep sorrows of depression, loss, the change of a woman's body after having children entering into that majestical second half of life, and then the release of love when the stress of it all breaks it back.  What I loved is Ryan's ability to help us to peek into Josiah's thoughts and to watch his transformation from apprehension, vehemence, hurt, and softening into forgiveness to allow himself to acknowledge the love and the need and acceptance of it.

This book had me do my laundry in the morning so that I could plan to read for the afternoon into the evening.  And that's exactly what I did.  With a side of Chardonnay.  I even made my special friend to not start our movie the next evening so that I could finish the last twenty pages, of which he agreed I should do it. I savored all last words of the chapter, nodding and championing the in-progress love of Yasmen and Josiah.  The highlight of family life, the need for therapy in black families, healing mother/daughter and father/son relationships, and the supporting of loving sistahood friendships, Ryan creates a world that we know, but a world that we can aim to create in our own lives if lacking.

Get. This. Book.  Support this Black Woman Author. More importantly, get it for your next trip where you can spend time lavishing in the pools of good writing that just may have you questioning your own life and decisions in love.

Can you admit when you must stop because life has become too much?  Can you admit when you've acted presumptuously in loving relationships because you were led by ego instead of allowing vulnerability, no matter what the cost, to lead the way? Can you permit the lean in, trust, and support of good sistafriends to hold you up when you are unsure if you can do it for yourself?  This was a greeeaaat read and worth adding to your collection of authors to watch and keep in rotation.

I've already ordered my next two books by Kennedy Ryan.  Just sayin'.  #fangirlin'