Book Review: Six Weeks to Live by Catherine McKenzie

Hi everyone. Like I said a few weeks ago, I started reading Six Weeks to Live by Catherine McKenzie. I discovered it on BookBub, then downloaded it off Bookshare. I finished the book just before midnight yesterday, so here are my thoughts.

Book Blurb

A gripping psychological suspense novel about a woman diagnosed with cancer who sets out to discover if someone poisoned her before her time is up

Jennifer Barnes never expected the shocking news she received at a routine doctor’s appointment: she has a terminal brain tumor—and only six weeks left
to live.

While stunned by the diagnosis, the forty-eight-year-old mother decides to spend what little time she has left with her family—her adult triplets and twin
grandsons—close by her side. But when she realizes she was possibly poisoned a year earlier, she’s determined to discover who might have tried to get rid
of her before she’s gone for good.

Separated from her husband and with a contentious divorce in progress, Jennifer focuses her suspicions on her soon-to-be ex. Meanwhile, her daughters are
each processing the news differently. Calm medical student Emily is there for whatever Jennifer needs. Moody scientist Aline, who keeps her mother at arm’s
length, nonetheless agrees to help with the investigation. Even imprudent Miranda, who has recently had to move back home, is being unusually solicitous.

But with her daughters doubting her campaign against their father, Jennifer can’t help but wonder if the poisoning is all in her head—or if there’s someone
else who wanted her dead.

My Review

The story is told in short chapters and from alternating viewpoints. Jennifer’s story is told in first-person perspective, while her three daughters’ viewpoints are displayed in third-person perspective. I loved both of these aspects. The short chapters allowed me to lay aside the book for a bit when I wanted to do something other than read. The alternating viewpoints allowed me to gain a nice glimpse into each character’s mind, while the fact that Jennifer’s perspective was the only first-person perspective made it clear that she’s supposed to be the center of attention.

I originally thought the book was on the predictable side for a thriller, believing I’d figured out who caused Jennifer’s poisoning by 22% and the exact nature of the ending by 57%. I was wrong. So wrong. In fact, I didn’t figure out the exact nature of the situation until the very end of the book and it’s not because of some stupid plot twist that makes no sense other than it being required to show the reader that this was a thriller after all. In fact, the story is really well-constructed. I once again had trouble letting go of it once I’d finished it. I gave it a five-star rating again even though I noticed its average rating on Goodreads is only 3.65 stars. I’m not even sure I’d give it a 4.5-star rating if I could this time around.

See more details about this book on its Goodreads page.

32 thoughts on “Book Review: Six Weeks to Live by Catherine McKenzie

  1. Good to get to know Emily; Aline and Miranda.

    And it’s nice or at least surprising to be wrong in our reading occasionally!

    I wonder – is someone being in the 1st person perspective an indicator that she IS supposed to be the centre of attention?

    So maybe 4.75 or 4.8 as a weighted rating?

    [it’s like gymnastics – taking points off – like any of the judged sports eg: diving].

    Who is the “first” third person perspective and how did you feel about the way the daughters were sprinkled through?

    Was there anyone else who you felt should tell their story or have it told?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your interesting comment. Re the daughters, their stories were distributed evenly across the chapters (or pretty evenly, I didn’t count, of course). I at first found myself trusting one more than the others, but that changed eventually. I might’ve liked to hear from Jake’s perspective too.


      1. Jake’s perspective would be very important and not one which is often heard in stories of this genre [I believe].

        Jake is the husband?

        Sometimes one daughter – in life and in literature – grabs all the glory and the oxygen. I am glad that this was not the case in SIX WEEKS TO LIVE.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, Jake is the husband. With respect to the daughters, you’d need to read the book to find out, but there are some intriguing relationship issues between the triplets going on and I wouldn’t exactly say all of them agree that their relation with their mother and with each other was equal, regardless of their evenly distributed perspectives.


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