★★★★ Wait Until I’m Dead!: A Novel of Family Secrets is a well-written and uniquely interesting piece of women’s fiction. Dawber takes her readers on a strange but relatable journey for women who are middle-aged and beyond. Donna Jean (DJ) Brava is a highly respected romance novelist, but she has deep, dark family secrets. She’s come to a point in her life and her career that she believes her fans deserve to know the truth, and it’s time for her to get the dark history of her upbringing off her chest. What she doesn’t realize is that her editor has a secret of his own—one that could keep DJ’s memoir from being published. Dawber takes readers along as DJ tries to prepare her family in anticipation of the book being published. Throughout the story, sections of DJ’s memoir, entitled Peeling the Onion, are also shared with readers.
The author does a good job of hooking readers early on and keeping them wondering if DJ’s memoir will actually get published. Unfortunately, this initial hook leads to slow pacing afterward. There is too much unneccessary fluff around the conversations with DJ’s friends and family members, and bringing the truth to the forefront simply takes too long. On the other hand, the message that Dawber shares within Wait Until I’m Dead is a very powerful one. In fact, the title carries a tremendous message in and of itself when considering family secrets—sexual abuse, in particular. Wait Until I’m Dead clearly expresses how sharing one’s personal secrets has an impact on others directly connected to the situation, too. Though the back and forth between the actual story and the memoir within the story can be a little taxing, this is a book well worth reading.
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