This is my second book in a row where excessive drinking leads to the "morning after" comedy of errors. I think I need a shelf for that.
The story is quite enjoyable, but the characters can be extremely frustrating at times, especially Will. He is whiny and he doesn't express himself very well outside his "mafia relations".
I don't understand why Present Tense is necessary in this book. I don't love it to begin with and failing to see how it supports the story or adds to it, I have no choice but to remove one star from my rating.
Final score 2.7
If I die before I wake is one of a number of books that I have read which introduces the reader to a condition referred to as permanent vegetative state: Westlake Soul by Rio Youers and Blood Sisters by Jane Corry are both excellent in their interpretation and use of PVS as the basis for a novel. Emily Koch expertly creates a crime thriller around the tragic accident that happens to Alex Jackson one Saturday morning when he falls 20 metres from a cliff face along the Portway in Bristol. This story is all the more remarkable when you realize this is the first published thriller by Miss Koch and if this is an example of her ability then she most certainly has a bright writing future.
What this book has in common with the two novels previously mentioned is that the story unfolds through the mind of the patient. Alex is aware of his surroundings, he can understand and grasp what is being said about him and he can appreciate the interaction between various friends and relatives on a daily basis; in particular his wife Bea, father Graham and sister Phillipa. What emerges is simply no one is sure whether Alex has been hospitalized due to an accident or something more sinister. It is only you the reader who occupies the mind of the patient and when Alex desperately tries to move and communicate you feel that struggle and will him to be successful. The story of was he pushed or did he fall is revealed in a very slow and clever way, the key to the puzzle hidden in Alex's past.
The central dilemma in If I die before I wake is the moral issue of what is an appropriate time to remove life support from a patient when, after various tests, it becomes clear that recovery is impossible. This leads to the assumption that anyone with PVS has no future, you will need to read the novel to find out if this is true all I will reveal is that the closing paragraphs create a magical and appropriate conclusion. Many thanks to the good people of netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.
I really enjoyed this clean, historical, western romance. I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 5* rating. I liked that it dealt with a fact that many communities dealt with and that was contaminated water supply, which still happens to this day, only from different type of circumstances. The youngest sister of these three, who was shy, came into her own in this story. This does have a small amount of violence in it. Onto the next.