Note: This ARC was provided by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
When I'm Gone is a women's fiction standalone novel from bestselling author Emily Bleeker. This was my first read from the author, but I did know that her debut novel, Wreckage, had received countless positive reviews and based on that and the intriguing synopsis, I went into this book and goodness, it was an emotional and angst-driven read. The story opens Luke Richardson and his three children, Will, May, and Clayton, returning home after the burial of Natalie, Luke's wife and the children's mother. When he spies a letter addressed to him in the handwriting of his late wife, thus begins his journey into unearthing all the secrets his wife left behind. He does this amidst trying to maneuver his own life and that of his children, needing to make sure that they not only survive Natalie's passing but continue to thrive even after the loss.
I was torn while reading Luke's story, which is also Natalie's story. I felt for him because he was struggling with so much and I highly doubt that Natalie had no clue he would be having difficulty, what with now being a single parent and the sole provider. Do I think that it was selfish of Natalie to divulge her secrets the way she did? Yes, I do, and then there was the fact that there were other people who knew some of those secrets and said nothing for so long. I couldn't help but think that so much time had been wasted. I kept wondering if she and the others had come clean early on, help for Jessie Fraga could have been found earlier, and time could have been better spent. There are twists upon twists, but while I was frustrated throughout, it's written well and my heart went out to Luke and his kids. When I'm Gone earns four stars. ♥
Date Read: 17 March 2016
Learn more about Emily Bleeker.