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Before My Time

Best Seller
Before My Time by Ami McKay
Paperback $15.50
Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780345809476

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  • Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780345809476

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  • Sep 24, 2019 | ISBN 9780345809469

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  • Sep 24, 2019 | ISBN 9780345809483

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“McKay breathes new life into the ghosts of her deceased relatives, presenting them in vignettes as characters that readers come to care about. Conflicts abound throughout the memoir, captivating readers’ interest and heightening the tension. . . . McKay should be commended for her honesty and thoroughness in tackling this difficult subject. Her memoir is a thought-provoking eye-opener that is hard to put down.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“A lovingly chronicled family tale about fatal genetic predisposition. . . . In the best of creative non-fiction writing, this genetic memoir weaves together her family history and scenes from her past. . . . Beautifully written.” —Annapolis County Spectator

“Ami McKay, how do you do it? How do you turn a tale of cancer genetics gone mad into a surreal and beautiful story of love and resilience and genealogy and history? Daughter of Family G is more than a memoir—it manages to unfold and examine all of our pasts. How do we define ourselves? What is destiny? Is fate as simple as it sounds, or can it be rewritten? This book became a bible of sorts for me, providing me with the most brilliant tools to imagine my own future. Every single time I turned a page, I felt more invested in the lives of Ami and Ami’s family. Her ability to be vulnerable and open was beautiful. How she faced her personal demons and gave them heart was everything. I was sad when it was over. I wanted to follow Ami to her house and sit at her kitchen table and ask her a hundred questions. This book read so much like a novel. It was suspenseful and heartfelt and scary and wonderful. Who knew cancer could be so interesting.” —Jann Arden

“Ami McKay’s memoir is a deep and relevant meditation on navigating the terrain between the genes we inherit and the life we choose. For McKay, despite a life-threatening mutation, it is life-affirming family love that triumphs.” —Pauline Dakin, author of Run, Hide, Repeat

“Ami McKay’s book mourns all that is lost, but is no tragedy. Instead, she celebrates the ancestors who contributed so much to our understanding that cancer is in part hereditary. More importantly, she teaches us through moving stories and memories how to live and live on beyond the grasp of destiny.” —JJ Lee, author of The Measure of a Man

“This beautifully told, genre-bending story is part mystery and part love story that reads like historical fiction. I couldn’t put it down. It’s the rare book that makes you laugh, cry and learn so much.” —Tina Cassidy, author of Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait

“Infused with hard-won wisdom, this brilliant memoir of a family haunted by cancer is an invitation, in the face of fear, to be “wildly, passionately, outrageously devoted to life.” Bees, crinoline, hospital labs, kindness, grief, despair, and especially love—the large and small signatures are all here, recognizable, heartbreaking, and confirming. Moved to tears, I held this profound and courageous book to my heart, reminded of life’s frail wonder.” —Beth Powning, author of The Sea Captain’s Wife


Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction WINNER 2020

Evelyn Richardson Non-fiction Award WINNER 2020

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