3 out of 4 stars
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In the touching memoir, It's Me, Until It's You, D.J. Connors chronicled his late-in-life love story with his wife, Suzanne. With candor and humor, he shared his background before meeting Suzanne, their marriage, and subsequent blending of families as well as the various health challenges they experienced together. Five years after getting married, Connors was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was his original purpose for writing the book. As he was previously uninformed about this health risk, he realized that many other men were likely uninformed and decided to write about his experience. However, when Suzanne required surgery for an aortic aneurysm due to leakage from a heart valve, Connors' focus changed: "I began to write my story which, as you will see, soon became our story and then her story."
Although this 74-page book is a quick read, it is informative, heartwarming, and at times, entertaining. It also appears to be professionally edited. According to Connors, he has kept his attentive guardian angels on their toes, and I enjoyed his humorous references to them. Without bombarding the reader with too much medical jargon, Connors explains the intricacies of dealing with prostate cancer, some of the different options for treating it, and his journey from his initial diagnosis to present. He also details the process of Suzanne's medical condition and surgery. Readers will relate to Connors' desire to bring awareness to both health issues by taking a humorous approach as opposed to a more technical one. Through it all, he infuses amusing anecdotes that illustrate the couple's love and devotion.
I most like the endearing way that Connors writes about Suzanne. His respect and love for her jump off the page, and he uses words like "...unselfish, caring, giving, loving, determined, accountable, and trustworthy to a fault" to describe his wife's character. Connors gives readers a glimpse of a fiercely loyal woman who loves her family and lives life to the fullest, and it is evident how much he admires her beauty, spunkiness, strength, and courage.
On the other hand, Connor has an offbeat sense of humor, and he sometimes misses the mark. For instance, regarding a comment that his daughter makes about the number of times he has been married, he writes, "If you can't find the humor in that, read another book." I realize that humor is subjective, but some readers may take him up on his suggestion that comes across more arrogant than funny. I particularly dislike his frequent use of profanity. At the same time, some of his self-deprecating humor is quite amusing, like when he refers to himself as "...the guy with enough baggage to shut down every conveyor belt at every airport in the country."
Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars due to the gratuitous profanity; it seems at odds with the rest of the content as though Connors doubts his storytelling ability without using it as a prop. I recommend the book to mature fans of love stories and humorous memoirs. It will also serve as a helpful resource for readers facing prostate cancer and aortic aneurysm surgery and repair.
It's me until It's you
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