Author: Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 352
Date of Publication: March 22, 2022
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
What an utterly emotional and compelling read.
Nova Huston and her partner Kelly are death doulas. Just like a midwife who assists with birth, death doulas assist in the dying process. Their newest client is Mason Shaylor. Nova works with Mason and the pair have a connection neither expected, all while Nova knew that Mason might not be around for very long. They shared an unusual alliance, one that showed just how much they had in common.
This was not an easy read. This book will require a handy box of tissues nearbu because the end result is clear. It is the path to that result that allows readers to understand more about how important Nova and Kelly's jobs are and what pain Mason and his family went through.
A popular speaker at writing conferences, book clubs, and book festivals nationwide, she is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Fiction Writers Co-op, and Women's Fiction Writers Association. Connect with her on Twitter @jessicastrawser and Facebook and Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor. Visit jessicastrawser.com to learn more, read some of her work and sign up for her email list to receive occasional updates and hellos.