You and Me and Us – Alison Hammer

5 stars

I’m not sure where to start with this one, other than You and Me and Us is one of the most emotional yet beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. I want to preface by saying – this book may be highly sensitive and triggering for someone who has lost a parent or spouse to cancer, or lost them just in general. I knew going into it that it would be a hard read to get through as I was warned of the difficult content, but I worked my way through the story and am really glad I did.

Told in alternating viewpoints, Alexis is the typical workaholic mom. Owning her own advertising agency often means many missed goodnights and rushed good mornings. CeCe is the typical teenager full of angst towards her unavailable mom and struggling with puppy love crushes. The middle ground and constant in Alexis and CeCe’s live is Tommy, a gentle and patient therapist who lives and breaths for the two of them. A dedicated partner and dad, Tommy is charming and warm and kind.

Tommy is given the devastating and terminal news of cancer with only a few months to live. Wishing to spend his final months and one last summer in his favorite place – Destin, Florida – Alexis relinquishes control of her business and CeCe lets go of her growing agitation towards her mom, both in honor of Tommy’s wishes. And to give him the best final months of his life.

In an utterly raw, honest, and gutwrenching story weaving together difficult mother/daughter relationships, facing a terminal illness, and prioritizing the important things, You and Me and Us is a beautiful reminder to focus on things that truly matter, both big and small. Life is not guaranteed and in the blink of an eye, it can be swept from us quicker than we can process. This story is manifested and rooted in love – so much love – and reminds us to cherish every single moment with those that we love.

The writing in this book is phenomenal, telling such a compelling and heartfelt story that I was in tears more often than not. It reminded so much of my mom’s final weeks and days, the conversations we had, and the dreaded and conflicting feeling of not wanting to let go but knowing you must so they can finally be at peace. You and Me and Us was one of the most difficult books to get through and I’m not ashamed to admit I was ugly crying in bed at midnight while finishing this book. However, all of these feelings and true meanings behind the beautiful words in this book are so, so important.

Whether you have lost a loved one to a terminal illness or simply know what it’s like to have a partner in life that you love with all of your entirety, in sickness and in health, I highly recommend reading this book and allowing yourself to feel and work through the difficult moments of life.

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