by Alison Hammer
- Author: Alison Hammer
- Formats: Paperback/Hardcover/eBook, 432 pages
- Published: April 7, 2020
- Publisher: William Morrow
THE FEELS I HAVE RN 😱
I’ve connected with this book in ways I wasn’t expecting and to be honest, it’s forcing me to face an extremely sensitive and semi-buried part of my past.
I lost my dad to stage 4 lung cancer (non-small cell, CeCe’s dad has stage 4 small cell). I feel so much of what CeCe’s describing as her dad’s health deteriorates. Her feelings of guilt, regret, selfishness, anger.. it’s all there. @thishammer does such an incredible job putting it into words. I found myself stopping frequently throughout the book to locate tissues so that I wouldn’t get tears on the book.
Hammer’s writing made the characters’s personalities easy to decipher and quickly predict how they would react as each scene unfolded. Normally I wouldn’t prefer this choice but it allowed me to focus on the main plot–CeCe’s dad’s terminal illness.
CeCe’s constant back-and-forth between the “I hate you” and “I don’t hate you as much” attitude annoyed me after awhile but truth-be-told, what teenager doesn’t go through this phase? Alexis, sweet, poor, Alexis. My heart broke for her many times over throughout the book as she had to navigate uncharted waters in many aspects–balancing work, motherhood, caregiver, mediator, etc. The woman did what she could in the best ways she knew how all while knowing that the end was nearing.
This is undeniably a good read, albeit a tearjerker. As someone who’s unfortunately gone through a similar situation, it’s very accurate in its portrayal. Grab some tissues and hydrate because you’re going to need to replenish your physical self as you read.
Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.
Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.
But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.
As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.
You and Me and Us is a beautifully written novel that examines the unexpected ways loss teaches us how to love.
(Disclaimer: This review is not affiliated with Book Beau nor its affiliates. These words are unpaid and my own.) Synopsis courtesy of GoodReads.