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Free on 12th - 16th May 16
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Adam Spencer, a happily married 37 year-old father of two young boys, has everything he wants. A successful business, a beautiful home, two cars in the garage, and a dog. What he doesn’t want is to die. But Adam doesn’t have a say in the matter. He just found out he has brain cancer.

Troubled by his newly-discovered death sentence, Adam joins a support group for the terminally ill. There, he meets six strangers who are struggling to cope with their own impending demises.

When one member of the group dies, leaving behind an unfulfilled dream, the others realize just how limited their time is. Now, as the youngest member nears the end of his short life, they become determined to make sure the boy’s dream comes true before it’s too late. Together, they embark on a road trip that will teach them all what it means to live, and to die.

Free on 12th - 16th May 16
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"The Crier's Club may be fictional, but it handles the topic of terminal illness with dignity, sensitivity, and intelligence. This is a really good book...it is likely to have broad appeal."

Reviewer: .


Adam has everything, a family he loves, a good job...and less than a year to live. Unable to tell his wife, he joins a support group for the terminally ill and their relatives, The Crier's Club, an odd selection of individuals from all backgrounds, with only one thing in common: they are all going to die too soon. As his life falls apart, Adam finds a second family with the group. When the youngest member of their club, nine-year-old Dillon, is given less than a month to live, the club members rally round to give him the holiday of a lifetime.

The Crier's Club may be fictional, but it handles the topic of terminal illness with dignity, sensitivity, and intelligence. There are some incredibly powerful moments in it, such as Clyde telling his altzheimer's-suffering wife that he is dying or the choice of whether to keep Dillon in hospital in the hope it will buy him more time or cease treatment for the roadtrip, and they are made more powerful by the author's understated writing. There is little self-pity or purple prose, and the author does not go out of her way to create artificial angst which would actually have weakened the story. The situation is tragic enough as it is.

Despite this, all her characters come across clearly as flawed, complex, and real people. Adam's inability to tell his wife about his cancer is frustrating and at the same time understandable, Leah doing anything she can to save her son knowing it is a battle she has already lost, George struggling with asbestosis, Justin knowing he was born with a condition that meant he'd never grow old, these are all realistic struggles...and it makes you feel because it is so easy to care for these people. It is a book that wrings your heart the more for being so matter-of-fact about it.

The ending was predictable but expected, as each member succumbs to their condition over the year. In some ways this felt like a weaker part of the book as the story finally began to use the overblown and sometimes schmaltzy language I had been expecting earlier, but after everything a reader goes through with them, I could forgive it. This book was very much about the journey, not the ending.

This is a really good book and I'm not sure who to recommend this to, as it is likely to have broad appeal. It would be suitable for most ages, as although the topic is mature it is handled in a fashion that most can understand and relate to.

Rating: 4



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Discussion

rz3300 (26 September 2016)
This is certainly a touchy subject, but I am hoping that this handles it well, like you say. I know that I have had my experiences with this, with family members that is, and so I am betting that I will be able to relate pretty well, which is always nice.

clair02 (27 September 2016)
It's unfortunate that we live in a world where most people would rather read about other people's misfortunes and miseries than their successes. I know that's just my opinion, but I really would rather read an uplifting book than one that deals with sad or negative things. That being said, there is a vast number of people who are sure to appreciate this book.

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