Reviewed by Debs Carr
When best friends Smidge and newly divorced Danielle go away on their annual trip together Smidge refuses to tell Danielle where they’re going. It turns out they’re not physically travelling very far, but what Smidge has to tell and then ask Danielle will make all the difference to her life. Smidge has terminal cancer and she wants her best friend, Danielle, to take over from her when she dies. This means moving in to Smidge’s home, getting together with her husband and bringing up her daughter Jenny. Smidge is overbearing and selfish, but Danielle is her closest friend, or so she believes and wants to help her. However, Danielle doesn’t want to leave California and move back south to the small Louisiana town she happily left years before. She hadn't planned on moving back for any reason, even if the locals are friendly most of the time. She has a lot of thinking to do and a lot to cope with and Smidge is not going to make it easy for Danielle to turn down her offer.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. Smidge isn’t someone I’d like to have as a friend. She’s mean and determined and even though she’s dying her character doesn’t soften at all. Her poor husband pretty much does as he’s told and you assume he must adore her to put up with the way she acts with people. I can’t imagine anyone actually expecting a friend to take over from them in this way, but it is fiction and the relationship between the two women and the pushy neighbour is well written. I especially liked Tucker and would have liked his story to have been a bigger part of the book, but that said, I did enjoy reading, You Take It From Here. It’s a sad book, but also funny and there are some clever twists. Ultimately, however, this is a book about friendship, coping with an inevitable loss and saying goodbye to someone you love while trying to figure out how to carry on without them being around any more.
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