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My Life Without Me Summary


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Ann is 23-years-old with two young daughters, a husband who spends more time unemployed than working, a mother with a history of broken dreams, and a father who has spent the last ten years in jail. While other women her age are out partying, she spends her nights working as a janitor in a university that she could never afford to attend in the daytime. She lives with her family in a tiny trailer in her mother's backyard. Somehow she keeps her head above water: surviving but not "living." However, this gray existence changes completely when, after a medical check-up, a doctor tells Ann that she has very little time left on this earth. Learning that she has hardly two months to live, Ann decides to keep her condition a secret, and refuses to tell anybody--not even her husband--about her time remaining. She does not want people around her with long faces, and obsessed with her approaching death. Ann starts to make a list of things to do before dying, which she completes little by little. The list ranges from the mundane to the sublime--from changing her hairstyle and getting fake nails to making love to another man. Unexpectedly, Ann discovers an appetite for life that drives her to live her last days with a sensual and furious intensity she had not known before. During this short time, she prepares her daughters for a life without her; she meets a solitary wounded man, whom she seduces; and most importantly, Ann faces what remains of her life with a certain steadfast courage she never knew she possessed.