Your sister needs you. But her child needs you more…
As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father and their mother’s swift remarriage, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leather-bound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears…
As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a doctor, successful in her practice and happily engaged. Annie is addicted to heroin – a thief, a liar, and unable to remain clean despite the fact that she is pregnant. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to help and take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?
“Annie doesn’t just come into your life and pass through it. She takes prisoners and leaves a trail of destruction.”
What a complex and beautiful story! I applaud the author for tackling the painful reality of drug addiction and the toll it takes on families and our society as a whole. Literally no one is left untouched by addiction and too often we rush to judgment. Kelly Rimmer treats the topic with great care and sensitivity. Sisters Lexie and Annie Vidler could not be more different. Lexie is a doctor with a wonderful fiancé named Sam and a lovely home. She has bailed her sister Annie out of trouble their entire lives. But this time when Annie called, she is truly desperate: she is pregnant, alone and very ill.
Lexie is fearful of the disruption that Annie will cause in her life, for good reason. An addict’s behavior can be self-centered and wildly unpredictable. But Annie is in dire straits and now there is a baby to consider.
“This is what happens whenever Annie reenters my life—things fall to bits, and she’s always oblivious to how the effects f low on and on beyond her. It’s remarkable how one person’s presence can disrupt every little thing that is ordinarily secure.”
The gripping story is told in the present and past, both from Lexie’s viewpoint and from Annie’s journal entries. The two sisters were both subjected to a very rough and horrifying childhood but why was one of them able to overcome their past, while the other fell victim to addiction? I felt so much compassion for both sisters and felt that the author was able to tell both their stories with great compassion and with no judgment.
The arrival of Annie’s baby changes everything and Annie is forced to go to rehab, where she had been many times before with no success. Lexie steps in and along with Sam, try their best to deal with a painful and heart-wrenching situation. Will this baby be the final straw that pushes Annie to finally overcome her addiction?
“She’s just so beautiful. I can’t believe something so perfect came out of me.”
I feel that this book is required reading for everyone. The reasons for addiction are many and every person with a drug problem deserves to have their story told. This book also is a sad commentary on the way pregnant drug addicts are treated in the United States. While I felt that the social worker in this book was a bit overdramatized, the description of child protection services was generally accurate.
My heart broke while listening to this story and the narrators were absolutely fantastic. Lexie’s devotion to her sister was simply stunning and ultimately life-affirming. Above all, this book is reminds us that nothing in life is ever black and white. Emotional and intensely gripping, ‘Before I Let You Go’ is highly recommended!
“I cry for the Annie who went into that community, I cry for the broken creature who escaped six years later, and I cry for the baby who one way or another is going to pay a price for her mother’s pain.”