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Summary

Known for the wit of her writing, Catherine Cookson was the UK's most widely read novelist during her lifetime. When her Estate discovered this never-before-published memoir in the attic of her home, it was an astonishing find. Before I Go is the definitive story of her life, in the author's own candid words.

While Cookson had authored previous autobiographies, none have truly touched upon the tragedy and personal anguish she experienced until now. For the first time, she reveals the worst years of her life - her constant battles with illness and a series of devastating miscarriages, the damaging jealousy of her friend and her struggle to be taken seriously as a writer. But what shines through most is her strength in the face of adversity, her deep love for her husband, Tom, the solace she found in her art and her unmistakable character. Before I Go is an inspiring story of resilience and a must for any Cookson fan.

©2017 The Trustees of the Catherine Cookson Trust. (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must for Catherine Cookson Fans!<br />

Catherine Cookson has been my favourite author since the 1960's and I've read all her books enjoying them all. Her stories are filled with strong women fighting against their role in the society of the age they lived.

Most of the stories, set in and around Tyneside, dealt with poverty, family, class, illegitimacy, in the different era's they were set, but through them all ran a deep bond of love. This love, be it between a man and woman or mother and child overcame whatever life threw at them.

I really enjoyed this book and finished it in a couple of days. It gave more of a personal insight into Catherine Cookson herself and not Catherine Cookson the writer. She was dogged with so much bad health during her life that many a person would have crumbled beneath it but not her. With her deep love of her husband and his for her they faced each day together and no matter what life threw at them their strong love brought them through.

I gave the narration four stars only because I would have liked the narrator to have had a geordie accent. Nevertheless the narrator did a good job. I definitely recommend this book to all Catherine Cookson Fans. I would like audible to have more of her books in their library for I'm sure they would be enjoyed by another generation!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Interesting life story

Lovely to hear about Catherine's life story. Such a wonderful woman.
Enjoyed it very much

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A moaning about two people in her life.

I love the work of Catherine Cookson but this autobiography about the people who spoilt her life (drunken mother and a sneaky stealing associate) goes on and on. It is a shame about her ill health but this book is a good moan about things that were spoiling her life.

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Fascinating!

I have never read a Catherine Cookson novel but I intend to do so right now. I would have loved to have met her and Tom.

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Great insights and brilliant narration’

Once I had accepted the non-chronological nature of these writings, I found this book totally absorbing with tremendous insight into Catherine’s life and the wonderful support and love from her husband, Tom. The performance was so good that I forgot I was listening to a narration but rather that Catherine Cookson herself was talking. A rare experience when so many books are ruined by poor narration! Highly recommended.

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Book of hope

This book has all of human life. It takes you to a place of hope, trust and belief in one self.

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Before I Go

Not knowing that much about the author Catherine Cookson it was very informative and heart warming to listen to her life story. I really enjoyed listening to this audio book and would highly recommend it. The Narrator was also excellent and it felt like I was actually listening to Catherine Cookson herself. 5 stars xxxxxxx

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Mrs Cooksons own story

What did you like most about Before I Go?

Although her life story is harrowing I found this to be a gentle insight into another part of Catherine Cooksons own life

What other book might you compare Before I Go to, and why?

Because it is autobiographical I would not compare it to other books Being a Cookson fan I found it interesting

What does Christine Rendel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A good narrator who reads without trying to imitate the author

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  • Jordan Max
  • 11-04-18

loved it! Thank you Catherine Cookson!

beautiful account to a lifelong struggle of survival. Catherine Cookson was a fighter and a hero in her own way.