SIX WEEKS TO LIVE, by Catherine McKenzie

Jennifer Barnes has six weeks to live–that part of this new book from Catherine McKenzie is given away in the title–but is it because it’s one of those things that just happens and we need to shake our fists at fate, or has someone close to her decided that they would be better off without her around?

McKenzie has written another terrific family drama-mystery-psychological thriller that will keep some readers guessing the outcome until the very end. What the author does very well in SIX WEEKS TO LIVE (as she does in all of her books) is gather the broken pieces and parts that come from a life of family and friendships and turn them into a well-plotted story that leaves the reader invested in the characters and the outcome–and allows most to see a bit of themselves in at least one of those characters.

SIX WEEKS TO LIVE is told in alternating voices as Jennifer and her three daughters give their perspectives on what happens over the course of Jennifer’s final six weeks. The excellent writing and clear chapter titles helped me stay on track with whose voice I was hearing, and even without the heads-up at the beginning of each chapter, the distinct personalities of the Barnes women shine through and a reader won’t doubt whose version of the story they’re reading.

With its short chapters and constant surprises, SIX WEEKS TO LIVE is a book that is hard to put down. I spent a lot of time saying “just one more chapter” to myself as I breezed through the book on some nights when I should have gone to sleep early. The title releases at the beginning of May, so I suggest you pre-order it and give it to the mystery-loving mom on your shopping list for Mother’s Day. I can guarantee that I’ll be doing that.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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