Twelve Months by Steven Manchester is a novel about living. Don is diagnosed with stage four cancer and is given a year to live. So he lives. The book follows his journey through a bucket list and back to his family’s side.

Twelve Months by Steven Manchester book cover

I definitely teared up at the end. But I’m having trouble voicing my opinion on this one. It was a lot of telling, but in a way that is different from the norm. I didn’t feel like I was being chastised or lectured. I felt like I was getting to witness someone else’s experience, but it felt so perfect that I couldn’t really believe it. I wasn’t emotionally involved except that the writing pulled emotions from me.

The writing was great. It was poetic at times and portrayed daily life in a beautiful manner. I didn’t necessarily love any of the characters, but I certainly loved the prose. Perhaps it’s better that way because you are allowed to be a bit numb while reading about someone dying. It wasn’t gruesome, and it seemed that Don (though it was first person) hid a lot of his pain and feelings from his family and the reader.

I liked it, but as with any controversial book, I’m torn. It’s hard to get a message like this one across smoothly. It has some great messages, some real gems, but they were too obvious for me. I will recommend this one for the writing alone, as that hooked me.

I received this book from the author for review.