The Next Thing You Know by Jessica Strawser
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 22nd 2022 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Drama, Fiction, Romance, Adult Fiction
From Goodreads: A musician facing the untimely end of his career. An end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose. A Star Is Born meets Me Before You in this powerful novel by the author of A Million Reasons Why.
As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job—her calling, her purpose, her life—is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.
When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible—as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.
Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.
Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.
The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.
My Thoughts: The Next Thing You Know tugged at my heart. Nova is a death doula; I never had heard of such a thing. I enjoyed learning more about what a death doula does, it is a unique career and certainly not a job everyone can do. Dealing with death is never easy and Nova has a huge heart that lets her clients in as more than just clients. Mason is more than just a client. He never really shares why he needs her assistance, but it is evident that there is something more than just terminal illness going on. Nova opens her life to him and her heart, while also helping him find his way.
I like that every character in the book seemed to have more to their story. Each character had a secret to keep, a story to tell, or a past that effected their current lives. The final secret revealed blew me away, I never saw it coming and I love how it finished the story perfectly.
Jessica Strawser is so talented. I devoured this book, wanting more, and loving how real the story is.
** Thank you Alexis Neuville at St. Martin’s Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Favorite Quotes: People talk about audacity like it’s a bad thing, but the truth is, you need some. (from location 557)
Advice is often wrong. Listening is always right. (from location 3511)
Meet Jessican Strawser: (Taken from her website) Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You, a Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick; Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month bestseller; Forget You Know Me, awarded a starred review by Publishers Weekly, and A Million Reasons Why, called “a standout” in a starred Booklist review and named to Most Anticipated lists from Goodreads, SheReads, Frolic, E! News & others ahead of its March 2021 release. Her fifth novel, The Next Thing You Know, is forthcoming in March 2022 (all from St. Martin’s Press).
Honored as the 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Strawser has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other fine venues, and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children. A contributing editor for Career Authors and an active Tall Poppy Writer, she keynotes frequently for writing conferences, book fairs and festivals, book clubs, libraries, and other events that are kind enough to invite her. She tweets @jessicastrawser and enjoys connecting on Facebook and Instagram.
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