Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

Five Days Left

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Five Days Left

We all know that we are going to die one day- but for Mara- she has decided the when and how. Mara has been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease- and wishes to pass away before the disease progresses to a point that she has no control over her body. With five days left before her deadline, Mara begins to consider things. Can she leave her husband and her daughter? Her mother and father? Is staying alive- but eventually being a shell of her former self- worth the extra days and weeks, possibly months she would get to be a mother, a wife, a lover, a daughter? As the five days dwindle, Mara takes what she knows, what she suspects and tries to imagine life- wondering which life will be the best; not for her- but for her husband and child. Is it better to leave on your own terms or to stay and worry that one day your child and husband will feel burdened by you?

Scott, a man that Mara knows only through an internet support forum for people who adopt/foster children, also has five days left. He does not have Huntington’s- he has been the caretaker for the past year of a little boy- a boy, that in five days, will return to his mother. Scott is heartbroken at the fact over Curtis having to return to his mother- and yet knows that the boy reuniting with his mother is in Curtis’s best interest. As Curtis and Scott’s days come to an end- Scott questions everything he knows about fatherhood, about being an advocate for children- and what really is the best for a child- a biological family or a family that is pieced together out of a desire to help a child?

Mara and Scott have never spoken a word to each other, they don’t even know each other in real life- but each provide a role in the others life- and provide support in their five days left.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Julie Lawson Timmer’s debut is a heart-tugging emotional mess of a book. And I mean that in the best way possible. This book will have you thinking about things that are very unpleasant- death, leaving behind your family, giving up the perfect life for the imperfect family situation.

It’s not an easy read by any means. FIVE DAYS LEFT will make you cry, make you feel the emotions- anger & sadness. Reading Mara’s situation- knowing how her life will turn out- will tug at your heartstrings for that girl, for her husband, for what life will not have time to be. Scott’s situation is sad- although maybe not quite as heartbreaking as Mara’s. It does have it’s heart-wrenching moments, but it’s on a different level than the Mara situation.

It took me over a week to read this- I would start reading, then cry for a bit or just get the emotional blah’s and have to put the book down. The emotion that Julie Lawson Timmer will make you feel as you read FIVE DAYS LEFT is crazy powerful. The research that Julie put into Huntington’s Disease to explain what was happening to Mara, to paint the picture of a woman who is suffering from a degenerative disease is incredible.

FIVE DAYS LEFT is a book to read- book clubs will have much to discuss with Scott and Mara’s situation. Be sure to have plenty of tissues around- emotions will be running high during a discussion of this book.


*Traveling With T received a copy of FIVE DAYS LEFT from a publicist at Putnam Books for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

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14 thoughts on “Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

    • It’s such a tough emotional read. I mean this was brutal- Julie does not shy away from the ugly emotions in this book- and writes scenes that will make you think long and hard after the last page is turned. I hope you get to read it soon- and you are so welcome!

  1. Oh my goodness. This sounds so intense. I want to read it, but it seems like it would hit really close to home, as I have a friend with HD, and I want to foster/adopt someday. Yikes.

    • Oh Ariel, intense is the right word. It’s very intense- it was hard for me to read- because it was so emotional. I think Julie did a really great job of researching HD- symptoms, signs, and writing Mara in such a way that made her almost “real”. If you read it, don’t be afraid to take a break from it. I set it aside several times to read a bit of happy books and some thriller ones. I would love to hear your thoughts if you choose to read this book- knowing your connection to this story.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!

  2. I keep reading reviews of this one that recommend lots of tissues! I originally wasn’t that interested in it, but now have become more so after reading the reviews. I probably won’t get to it in 2014, but may include it in my early 2015 “2014 releases that I didn’t get to” reading binge! Great review – love the first paragraph especially!

    • “Knowing” Julie from Twitter and being involved with many chats with her- I knew I wanted to read this. I knew it would be a hard read. I didn’t know it would be a hard read as it was. You’ll need Kleenex. It’s such a highly discussable book. Please let me know your thoughts- whenever you read it! And thank you! That makes my heart happy to hear that you loved my review 🙂 🙂

  3. lorispielman says:

    Great review of a great book. I loved it…even though I cried my eyes out! Such a good story and good writing.

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