Thank you for stopping by on Literary R&R's stop in Steven Manchester's Twelve Months virtual book blog tour, hosted by Pump Up Your Book. Below you will find some author's info and a review.
ISBN #: 978-1611880533
Page Count: 323
Copyright: August 14, 2012
Publisher: The Story Plant
(Taken from back cover)
Don DiMarco has a very good life - a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn't always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full.
Steven Manchester is the author of Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy, and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester's short stories were selected "101 Best" for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
I'm not exactly sure where to start with this review. My brain is swirling with all of the goodness of this book. I'll try to slow it down long enough to get my review out.
First, I do want to let you know that this is not classified as a "religious" or "Christian" book, so those of you that are going to think that please remove those thoughts right now. This book is a fiction novel. Just because the author appears to have a relationship with God and brings one's relationship with God into this book, doesn't mean he's going to beat you over the head with religious beliefs. Let's get started and I'll show you what I mean ...
As you can guess from the book summary, Don DiMarco is dying. He has a cancer that was caught too late and now has a predicted twelve months (at most) to live. He's faced with the overwhelming fear of his looming death ... Imagine being told you only have twelve months to live ...
Do you feel the panic? Do you think of all the things you've wanted to do, but haven't because you feel like you don't have the time or the money? What about the people in your life? Does the thought of leaving your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings fill you with an intense sadness and fear that they'll be alone and not know what to do?
If you imagined even a fragment of those I've listed, then you get a small taste of how it felt to read about Don DiMarco's life. Reading his story was bittersweet. I was happy that he's finally experiencing things he's always wanted, but despite all the humor and sweetness, death is constantly looming in the background just biding his time.
Yes, I realize I'm talking about Don like an actual person. I feel like I know him personally. I literally cried during various parts of this novel. I'm grateful my husband never saw me. He wouldn't have understood.
Most people when faced with a death sentence tend to lean towards a Higher Being. Some think about God, some Buddha, etc. Don, being raised in a Christian home, wondered about God and started getting his spiritual life in order. During his reflections on his spirit and the afterlife is where the author inserts those religious passages and thoughts. So, you see, it's not a "religious" novel, but a natural progression of a dying man's thoughts. I don't know about you, but if I were given a death sentence my soul would definitely be a major part of my reflections.
Because of this book, I've started a list of things that I have wanted to do but just never took the time to accomplish. This book will really make you sit back and consider the life you've lead as well as which direction you want it to go in the future.
There aren't enough good things I can say about this novel. It's so full of emotion that you'll feel as if Don and his family are based off of people you know. It is sort of a spoiler telling you that Don has a death sentence, but I'm telling you right now ... You HAVE to read this book!!! I have never demanded any of my followers to read anything, but this is beyond description. Steven Manchester has become one of my must-read authors.
*** Volunteering: There is a wonderful organization that the author brings up in the book that I don't think very many people know about: Chemo Angels. This organization matches volunteers to cancer patients going through chemotherapy. The volunteer encourages the patient during their treatment. Once the patient finishes their treatment, they "graduate" from Chemo Angels and the volunteer's assignment is completed. The volunteer can then request to be reassigned to another patient.
There are various volunteer options with Chemo Angels. I have been a volunteer for this organization for over 5 years now and have had six assignments, one of which is going on right now. I love every minute of it. If you want to visit Chemo Angels and learn more about volunteering for them, just click here.
*A paperback copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for the purposes of this tour.