Published: Lake Union
Date: 11th May 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive?
Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been distant. One of their daughters has a serious health condition. And her father’s death hovers over Libby like a rain cloud. Still, this eternal optimist knows she’s the winner of the existential lottery.
But when her forced cheer isn’t enough to keep her family from catching her blahs, she decides to fly them all to Vieques. The Puerto Rican island is where she and Shiloh fell in love—and where she decided to fight for her life after her cancer diagnosis. Where better to put their problems into perspective?
Then a tropical storm strikes. Libby pretends everything’s fine, even as she fears she’s doomed her family. What she can’t see is that the worst disaster they’ve faced may be the best thing that ever happened to them. But first, they have to get through it.
Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around was a slow starter for me. However as I read into the story I was soon engrossed in the life of Libby and her family.
I began not liking Libby that much, she was a bit of an avoider. I thought she could do with a read of one of Brené Brown’s books where she talks about not making up stories in your head.
Libby has a loving husband – with a bit of a query there, two twin girls, one of whom has Diabetes 1, a gay twin brother who has had a falling out with his partner, a father’s ashes she can’t commit to burying and she has lost her taste for her job.
It’s a lot, and the way Libby comes to face all this is what makes the story so good. I loved her friendship with the wise woman on Vieques, the dog she lets her heart out to and the way she finds her way back to what is really important.
Along the way we learn what it is like to experience a bad hurricane for an small island and what is like to live with Diabetes 1 for all the family.
So family, friendship, loss, love, facing into the difficulties of life – this story has plenty to offer.