Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
First Published: 2022
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
As an end-of-life doula, Nova’s job is to help the terminally ill cope with their impending death. Her most challenging client: Mason Shaylor, an up-and-coming indie singer-songwriter, who comes in asking for help to say goodbye after a deteriorating condition that has already caused him to lose his ability to play the guitar. Months later after Mason dies in a car crash, Mason’s mom comes in accusing Nova of assisting Mason’s suicide. Now Nova questions everything she thought she knew about a patient she had become extremely close to.
The Next Thing You Know is a top-level tearjerker, expertly drawing you into the characters and perfectly timing revelations to emotionally wrench you. Reminiscent of Me Before You, Strawser’s novel makes you think about how to cope when life as we know it ends. A must-read for anyone who enjoys women’s fiction, The Next Thing You Know is sure to make waves in 2022. Just make sure you have a box of tissues handy because I guarantee you will need them.
As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job―her calling, her purpose, her life―is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.
When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible―as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.
Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.
Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.
The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.
About Jessica Strawser
Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest and the author of four novels: Almost Missed You, Not That I Could Tell, Forget You Know Me, The Next Thing You Know, and A Million Reasons Why. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit the author’s website →