Book Review: The Milestone Tapes, Ashley Mackler-Paternostro (2012)

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The Long Goodbye

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Member Giveaways program.)

Jenna Chamberland is tired of fighting. For the past three years, she’s battled the cancer growing inside her. A radical double mastectomy, chemo, radiation – none were enough to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, from traveling to her bones, her liver, her lungs and her brain. With the diagnosis of stage four cancer comes the promise of not if, but when: prolonging the battle will give Jenna a few extra months, at best; but there is no cure for the cancer riddling her body.

Faced with the inevitable, Jenna decides to discontinue treatment and enjoy what little time she has left: Mothering her six-year-old daughter Mia, for half of whose brief life Jenna has been ill; preparing her husband and best friend Gabe for what lies ahead; and reconnecting with her sister Sophia, from whom she’s been estranged since the loss of their own mother to breast cancer more than two decades ago.

The first half of The Milestone Tapes (“Book One”) concerns Jenna’s “long goodbye.” With six months to live, Jenna aims to make the most of them. She celebrates a seemingly endless parade of “lasts” with her family: her last excursion to a favorite vacation spot with Gabe; the last of Mia’s birthdays that they will celebrate together; the last Christmas she’s able to spoil the ones she loves.

(More below the fold…)