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Sunday, October 21, 2018

No One Wanted Her to Go, Least of All Herself

Here are the comments I might have contributed to a blog post comprising short comments contributed by Book Club members: I liked how Lexie understood herself. She knew what her thoughts were and what they meant to her. Very difficult emotions. Although it is the drug that causes the addiction, fooling with the drug might be caused by broken family problems, loss of father and then almost loss of mother at same time. Ending was good: some healing and the Mom got healing, too, when strong mother instincts won out over Robert.

Marcia nominated Before I Let You Go, by Kelly Rimmer. In preparation for presenting the book for discussion, she researched the author. Rimmer had posted a photo of her dogs, with some comments. Marcia emailed Rimmer asking about the dogs and received a gracious reply! Everyone loves to communicate about their dogs! Referring to the photo, Rimmer said that the 80-pound 3-year old Labrador named Sully chews everything and that Basil, half Sully’s size, is the boss dog and is afraid of balloons. Everyone at our meeting, perhaps especially Rimmer, appreciated this comic relief break from the story.

Marcia led a lively discussion of lots of aspects of the story and characters! She structured the discussion by using stimulating questions suggested at the end of the book. Everyone agreed that the book was well-written. The following are comments expressed during the discussion:

Joanne thought the author wrote Annie’s death as a convenience…Joanne felt that a real situation would have been messier.

Regarding characters whom we disliked, readers unanimously disliked Robert. Most noticed that Mary, the social worker, was blunt, abrupt, and unlikeable at first and mellowed a bit after time passed. Most readers identified most with Lexie.

Carla suggested that Lexie had some codependence problems. Ideas included that this was a natural outcome for Lexie, having had a difficult childhood with Annie as her only confidant. Lexie’s tendency toward codependence was manifest in her relationship with her fiancée, Sam. She got a little too hysterical and should have had a cooler head as an MD. But, because of childhood and family and because Annie was her baby sister, her emotionality was reasonably assigned by the author. We talked about the fine line Lexie followed between supporting and enabling Annie.

As often happens, people offered examples from their experiences and acquaintances involving drug addiction. This part of the discussion is always captivating and presents a valid reason for getting out to Barnes & Noble on a third Monday afternoon, even if it’s rainy and cold! Drug addiction is an interesting, complex, frustrating and always timely topic requiring thought and diligence from anyone who is acquainted with a drug addict.

We discussed whether pregnant women with addiction should be prosecuted. Marcia showed us an article that indicated which states have laws incriminating and incarcerating women who expose their fetuses to drugs. Quality rehab seemed to be the most popular solution that our group would prefer.

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