Before I Let Go || By Kennedy Ryan

Year of Publication:2022
Disclaimer:This book was sent to me by Wordsworth Books for review purposes.

I’m a sucker for black love stories. And, to be honest, the older I grow the more I want ‘adult’ love stories that reflect my current stage in life. So when I peeled the pages of Yasmen and Josiah’s story, I knew I got exactly what I ordered.

In Before I Let Go, Kennedy Ryan takes us along as observers into Yasmen and Josiah’s love story. A recently divorced, co-parenting and business partner duo trying to make separation work within very close and intimate proximity of one another.

On the surface, to each other and to on lookers it would seem as though all love was lost when tragedy befell them, but what’s that thing they say about time again? Or is it the thing about absence? Or maybe even the other thing about loving someone so much that you let them go … quite honestly it is a combination of all the above that breathes life into this second chance romance riddled with pain, tragedy, trauma, mental health issues, heartache, parenting, friendship and above all, a love that transcends.

Kennedy Ryan is very deliberate with her subject matters, treating each issue with the utmost delicacy. As a single parent, I always enjoy reading romance from single parent POVs but I’d never read one with a healthy co-parenting trope and an intention from both parents to give their children the best post separation. It was beautiful to see this unfold.

This is no typical romance. Your heart will soar, but it will break, shatter and ask you so many of life’s unanswered questions about grief and how to continue to live past it. I loved that this book was not centred around the romance, that even taking away that part of the tale, there were so many wholesome gems in this story.

I won’t lie though, I feel like the author robbed me of just one more degree of depth. Had I felt just a tad bit more while reading this, it would have easily been my best black romance of 2023 so far. But man, even with what she did, Kennedy Ryan did a whole lot! Definitely worth your while.