Published by NYLA on July 30th 2018
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Holiday, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance
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College sweetheart’s Olive and Nigel Goodwin shared a love that was envied by many- a love that levels couldn’t explain. With fifteen years of marriage, three children, great jobs, and a home, Olive and Nigel never thought they’d be a couple in distress.Nigel Goodwin is at the end of his rope and resolves to take desperate measures into his own hands by doing the one thing he thought he’d never do- file for divorce. With his back against the wall, Nigel sets the separation process into motion, which activates a prenuptial agreement like no other. Confused and shattered when Nigel files for divorce, a devastated Olive wonders how she got to this point with a man that vowed to love her forever—a man she’d never thought would ever leave her. To add insult to injury, Olive is forced to leave her children and travel with her soon-to-be ex-husband to finalize the death certificate on their marriage. When the couple is forced to revisit memories of their past, and the thought of losing each other too real, will the couple find their way back to each other or is this truly the end of their love story.
Before We Say Goodbye follows college sweethearts, Nigel, and Olive Godwin. When we first meet them, they are six months into a separation and on the brink of a divorce. Before they can proceed with the divorce though, a ‘love’ agreement of sorts is activated. This signed agreement is one they came up with, in place of a prenup, in the event breaking up was ever a serious possibility.
Before their marriage can be dissolved, they must complete a number of tasks that include recreating their first date, visiting the place they got married and simple things such as holding hands in public or kissing; things they haven’t done in quite some time.
Will this exercise open the door for them to communicate and light the flame in their marriage once again or will it confirm that their relationship is indeed over?
I liked how the novel explored their marriage and how easy it became for both of the main characters to lose themselves in work and parenting. They had been married for quite a long time and fell into a rut that then opened up wounds that stemmed from miscommunication and assumptions. They both lost their way and Before We Say Goodbye is a journey into their past as they recreated some of their pivotal relationship moments and a look into what the future may hold for them.
The premise was solid though I found the approach to dissolving their marriage (or saving it) to be a bit much at times. It straddled the line between corny and romantic. There were a few times where even I was ready for them to be done with this adventure. Olive and Nigel were a solid couple and while I didn’t necessarily feel a lot of chemistry between them, I did believe they loved each other and thought that this second chance romance was quite sweet.