Review: When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

When You Were Here
by Daisy Whitney

Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

One of the best books I’ve read so far this year from Daisy Whitney – When You Were Here, a story about death and survival, about loss and finding oneself, about truth and love. A story that made my heart bled and hoped for one more chance. Such a beautiful novel that enlightened my mind and soul.

Danny Kellerman’s loss had led him to a more meaningful journey that opened his eyes to the truth and acceptance. He surely had a rough time coping with his mother’s death and his girlfriend’s abandonment, but along the way, he became more sympathetic with his emotions and I was glad I was able to go along for the ride. Plus a dog named Sandy Koufax definitely made this voyage a more exciting one.

Daisy Whitney writes beautifully and passionately. I got lost into her world in seconds. I got tears in my eyes in minutes. I became a big supporter in an instant!

Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.

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