Jaclyn’s Review: When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

When I’m Gone
written by Emily Bleeker
published by Lake Union Publishing, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book? OK, so this one starts out with a punch to the gut. You enter the story the day after the funeral for a wife and mom of 3 young kids. Ouch. I struggled to read the beginning of this book quickly because it was just so darn sad! Not necessarily that it was sad writing, or even a hugely depressing plot–but I have 3 young kids, so it hit a little too close to home.

There are a bunch of plots within this book and I don’t want to ruin any of them by saying too much. What I will say is that there are a few TOO MANY plots in this book. The beginning of the book is compelling to read, but really starts to fall off about halfway through. There is a big buildup of some secret that eventually gets revealed, and while it’s a good secret (from a plot perspective), it comes too late in the book and doesn’t get fully developed. The revelation of the secret isn’t very satisfying. The author leaves most of the plots dangling with open endings. Maybe she wants us to imagine our own endings–personally, I don’t care for that style of writing. Just tell me what happens!

All of that to say: I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I would like someone else to read it so I can discuss it with them.


Would I recommend it? You need to be emotionally prepared for this book. I spent the first half of the book debating if I needed to start writing instruction manuals for my husband and children for the unlikely event that I might unexpectedly die. The book made me sad, in an “I’m expected to feel sad” kind of way. The addition of all the extra plot lines were hard to stay interested in. I wouldn’t tell you to avoid this book, but I wouldn’t rush out to read it either.




About the book – from Goodreads: Dear Luke,
First let me say—I love you… I didn’t want to leave you…

Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.

The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep.


Happy 2



* This post contains affiliate links.
** This post first appeared on Every Free Chance Books (everyfreechance.com) on February 3, 2018.

Let's chat!