Synopsis: Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist—but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.
With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live—and love—a little longer?
I really, really enjoyed this book. And based on the other reviews I read, this book is really hit or miss. I don’t typically read contemporary fiction, but this book came to me as a Kindle First option, and the synopsis got me intrigued. And I did not make a mistake in choosing this book this month.
It starts out with Libby finding out she has cancer. A rare, hard to beat kind. But her mom had suffered through cancer. She didn’t want to do that to her family again, or to herself. So she runs. She tries to tell her husband, but he has a bombshell of his own. He’s gay. So what does Libby do? Stab in the hand with a fork, and make him leave.
She does not tell anyone about her cancer. She’s too focused on her life caving in. Instead, she books a month-long trip to the Caribbean, sells her condo and everything in it, and makes her great escape. There she meets someone, finally learns Spanish, and all sorts of other things you hope happen for her. But ultimately, she has to face her problems.
I really appreciated how Libby just felt like a real person to me. Albeit a few odd behaviors (and I swear she has a hard time forgetting when someone messes up one time), she’s funny, afraid, in love, and just a myriad of emotions. Her reactions to things felt genuine, and I only found myself questioning her once or twice.
The other characters are built pretty wonderfully. They’re all diverse in their personalities, and they all play an important role in Libby’s future.
Overall, if you read the synopsis in a grim light, I can promise you the book is not like that at all. It’s a surprise as you start reading, and Pagan makes her tone very clear in the first couple of pages. If you enjoy the occasional piece of contemporary fiction, read this.
To buy Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, click here!