Imagine the catastrophe of a family of four, finding themselves in a car accident. Two are killed instantly. Why is it that one will hold on, keep fighting, and ultimately survive, and others will by DOA or die in hospital?

Ever since Forman had heard of such a story, she could not stop thinking about what goes on in this time of coma, the time relatives are spending worrying in a hospital waiting room. This is how the character of Mia was born.

“I think about what the nurse said. She’s running the show. And suddenly I understand what Gramps was really asking Gran. He had listened to that nurse, too. He got it before I did. If I stay. If I live. It’s up to me.”

Most of us, me included, have had to be the family constantly wondering if someone will choose to stay. Mia brings these memories to life and make you weep, but also think about what could be happening on the other side of the hospital door.

“All this business about medically induced comas is just doctor talk. It’s not up to the doctors. It’s not up to the absentee angels. It’s not even up to God who, if He exists, is nowhere around right now. It’s up to me. How am I supposed to decide this? How can I possibly stay without Mom and Dad? This is too much. I don’t even understand how it all works, why I’m here in the state that I’m in or how to get out if it if I wanted to.“

You have guessed, the book is about Mia’s decision. Spoiler alert, there are sequels. However, it is not about the decision itself, but about where the power to fight comes from, how it is fuelled, and what can influence it.

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
First published 2009
ISBN 978-1-909-53123-9

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