Throwback Thursday – November 2nd – Before I Say Goodbye

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.


This Week’s Pick:

Before I Say Goodbye

by Ruth PicardieMatt Seaton (Foreword by)


Blurb: By turns humorous and heart-rending, an unforgettable account of a young woman’s spiritual triumphs over breast cancer in the last year of her life

Ruth Picardie was only thirty-three when she died, a month after her twins’ second birthday and just under a year after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. For Ruth, a journalist, it seemed natural to write about her illness. She published only five columns for Observer Life magazine before she became too sick to continue, but her moving, funny, and very human account drew a huge response from readers all over England.

Before I Say Goodbye juxtaposes these columns with correspondence from readers, e-mails to her friends, letters to her children, and reflections by her husband and her sister. The result is a courageous and moving book, entirely devoid of self-pity, that celebrates the triumph of a brave and wonderful woman’s spirit. An international bestseller in England, Picardie’s sobering yet ultimately life-affirming book is destined to become a classic.

My Thoughts:

I picked this up from a library book sale years ago and read it in just a few hours. It’s a book about a woman named Ruth Picardie who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30’s just after giving birth to her twins. She was an amazing journalist and her sister influenced her to write about her condition.

I was surprised by the format as pretty much the entire book contains personal email correspondence to and from friends and colleagues. It’s also interlaced with thoughts from family and the five columns Ruth wrote about her condition.

Letter from Jenny Dee, 18 September 1997
Dearest Ruthie,

You are my best friend and I am so reluctant to let you go. I’ve been putting off thinking about you dying because I just don’t know how my life will be without you. We have done so many hugely important and amazingly trivial things together – you are the diary that I never kept. The language of love and loss seems so inept at the moment. All I can say is that I will miss you forever, you are my best friend forever and I love you forever.

Even though Ruth was a very brave soul, the book still made me bawl my eyes out. By the time I got halfway through the book, I realized that Ruth was somebody I wish I would’ve known in my life. She was so courageous, positive, and kind. I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes and she handled everything which such strength all the way up until the end. This is a book I’ll always keep and my rating on it is 5*****.


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (September 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805066128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805066128

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