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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  59 reviews
At age fifty-five, Meg’s life is too filled with loss for her to remember what magic feels like. All she has left is a yard brimming with plants that are wilting in the scorching Iowa summer—and a bone-deep feeling that she’s through with living.

Meg has something else too: a bottle of mysterious pills, given to her years ago by an empathetic doctor. He promised that they
Paperback, 240 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Jamie I'm not sure if I'd recommend this for middle school. It deals with suicide and it could be triggering for some kids I think. It's a good book I'm…moreI'm not sure if I'd recommend this for middle school. It deals with suicide and it could be triggering for some kids I think. It's a good book I'm just not sure if it's appropriate for that age group.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

I have conflicting feelings about this read and to be honest, I've set aside some a box of tissues thinking water works were going to happen but I was left utterly disappointed. Meg's story just seemed rushed and I was left skimming the pages hoping to find something worthwhile but ultimately this became nothing more than your generic mediocre read. The only thing I could applaud in this novel was the ending. It was open ended and it best suited for this type of storyline, otherwise it's
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Debra's writing is so lovely-lyrical, beautiful metaphors, and thoughtful. She does a great job inviting you into the scene, makes it easy to connect to the protagonist's world and her process. In addition, the book offers a look into the question, "what if?" and "what makes life worth living?" It reads easily and kept me engaged to the end.
Kris Verdeck
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about finding joy in life, even during a time of grief. Touching, reflective, and makes one consider what brings fulfillment. I've read many of Debra's non-fiction books and am grateful that she's brought her talents to fiction.
Penny Danner
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
I applied to review this book because the main character, Meg, aged 55, is close to my age and a majority of the books I read are younger main characters. I wanted to really connect with a character who felt she was tired of living, done with life, living in grief and depression, after having so many losses of loved ones throughout her life and just didn't see the point of going on day to day any more. When you take a hard look at your life like Meg did, you see the wonderful thing that it is. ...more
Dottie Legatos
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty is a well written, easy to read story of a middle aged woman who's had enough of her lonely life. I jumped back and forth wondering if I should feel sad or joyful, just as the main character, Meg felt during her twenty days of reflection on her life. It's hard to talk about this book without giving too much away, but what I can say is that this is a wonderful reading experience, filled with both joy and sadness.
Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and Netgalley for an advanced copy in
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-publishers
This novel moved me in so many ways. A deeply thought provoking novel about a woman who can't seem to find the joy in life anymore and would rather just end it all. I had to keep reading to know the end. A remarkable story.

Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I never review books but this one was amazing. My reaction after completion was a simple "WOW". Well written easy to read book that made me think about how I look at things. Will change anyone's perspective on life.
Amanda Hash
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This was an unusual and remarkable book-- easy-to-read but full of depth, simple but lyrical, profoundly sad but also joyous. I could have easily read it in one sitting, but didn't want to know how it ended, so I put off reading the last few pages as long as I could.

I loved the first person narrative-- it was more like reading a memoir than a piece of fiction. I felt every emotion that Meg experienced, from the emptiness and defeat to the sheer joy at the beauty surrounding her. Her
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Twenty by Debra Landwehr Engle is one of the most unusual books I have read and nearly impossible to classify. It is fiction but what kind? It has the ear markings of chic lit with a bit of romance, it is in a way a sort of supplementary guide to mindful thinking and it could even be looked on as a retelling of A Christmas Carol set in summertime. Mostly it is a great story.

Meg is a 55 year old woman who has suffered great loss in her life. Her sister is married and lives with her family across
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
4.5 stars - Thank you to the publisher, author, and Goodreads for this ARC which I won in a Goodreads giveaway.

I really liked this quick read filled with emotion, some magical realism, and a bit of spiritual awakening. It's an easy read with a relatable main character and a realistic premise. It questions what makes life worth living?

The story is narrated by 55 year old Meg, whose grief and loneliness are the catalysts for her to decide to end her life. As she says in the first chapter, she's
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Marguerite is simply done. Her mother is dead. Her daughter is dead. Even her plants are dead. And in twenty days, she will be dead too. The story of the last 20 days of Marguerite's life is presented in a very plain straight forward manner. It is obvious that she is severely depressed and at first is very comfortable with her choice. But during the time that she has left, she is faced with the question of whether this was the right choice. Heavy in nostalgia, as most of the book was full of ...more
Shawna Briseno
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply beautiful. A reminder about what it means to live in the moment, to find the joy all around you each and every day.

When Meg loses her young daughter, and then her husband, and finally her mother, she begins to function on autopilot. Just going through the motions of life, not truly taking pleasure in anything. Eventually she decides that she’s done. So she decides to end her life, but in a most unusual way. She has twenty days to live. Twenty days to get her affairs in order, wrap things
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, unusual story of a middle aged woman as Meg reflects on her life and reconciles her life. Meg takes some medication given to her for her mother who had passed away 5 years before by her mother’s doctor. This medication supposedly help one to slip into death easily in 20 days. She takes it not knowing if it is still viable.
Meg then decides to start to do a thorough cleansing of her home. She comes across pictures, letters, cards and items saved by her mother, herself and other
Donna Hines
A backwards journey into the dark underworld of pain and misery.
Meg isn't feeling joy in living life and has found that perhaps it best to simply leave through suicidal ways.
A bottle of green pearls as it was is all that she has from her mother's memories and now may be all that she has period!
It's a story of the power of prayer and the delight of forgiveness.
Of empathy, compassion, and love in the strangest of places for which their can be no exit.
It's left open ended yet full of magical
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while a book falls into your hands that you are suppose to read and the right moment. Twenty was one of those books for me. The story gives hope when you can't see it. Meg might as well have been me. I can only hope that I do as well as she did. Ms Engle writes with a flare for reality. Never preachy, but full of lessons. Her writing is why readers read; to see themselves in the story and it find answers whether or not they knew the questions. I recommend this story for everyone ...more
Deborah Svec-carstens
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Debra Engle has written an engaging and thought-provoking novel about a woman’s journey with grief and how it leads her to rediscover the joy in life. Engle brings her non-fiction spiritual writing to this fictional story that will resonate with anyone who has experienced loss or a “desert” time in their life.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Have you ever gotten lost in all the negative aspects and monotony of your day today life? Have you forgotten how to see joy in the little things in life? Have you ever gotten so lost in grief that you don't have the desire to go on for another moment?

That is Meg's reality as we dip into her life. She decides to take a drastic step to end it all. She takes these pills that give her 20 days to get her affairs in order and promise a quiet drift out of this world.

The idea is really interesting and
Patricia Revzin
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately pulled into the story in the first few pages. Meg is a 55-year old woman who has endured the loss of not only her father was she was a little girl, of her mother five years ago, but also her beloved daughter. Weary of life and of the relentless and unusually hot drought in Iowa, Meg is ready to take mysterious green pearl pills prescribed by her mother's doctor that would help her pass painlessly after twenty days, seemingly of a heart attack. The pills are in a small white ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, arc

Thank you to Goodreads and Kensington for the chance to win a copy of this book. All opinions stated are my own, honest impressions of this novel.

This is an easy read, written in the first person perspective in such a way that you feel as if it is a memoir, rather than a piece of fiction. While this is definitively a story about a woman's discovery about what it means to live; it is also an honest look at grief and loss, and how we deal with it. It was beautifully written, full of detail, and
Mishelly loves
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
A 55 year old woman is suffering with depression after having so much loss in her life. 5 years ago her mother has passed and she was so close to her. When her mother was sick her doctor gave her a secret military pearl like medicine that guarantees a peaceful death in 20 days. When depression takes over she decides she’s done she find this medicine and decides to take it. The first few days she’s feels better motivated. But then worries she’s made a mistake and wonders if there’s any going ...more
Laura Peterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At age fifty-five, Meg’s life is too filled with the loss for her to remember what magic feels like. All she has left is a yard brimming with plants that are wilting in the scorching Iowa summer—and a bone-deep feeling that she’s through with living.

Meg has something else too: a bottle of mysterious pills, given to her years ago by an empathetic doctor. He promised that they would offer her dying mother a quick, painless end in exactly twenty days. Though her mother never needed them, Meg does.
Olivia L
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I were to have read this book ten—even five—years ago, I do not believe I would have been capable of appreciating the sagacity of this extraordinary tale.

In its creation, from premise to prose, the unspoiled beauty of 'Twenty' lies within Meg's unaffected and candid telling. She did not seek to garner pity nor wished to preach. Depressed, lonely, and tired to the bone, she only sought a resolution in expediting the inevitable. However, as she put her affairs in order, what she had found as
Monica Mac
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As the main character in this book was the exact same age as myself, I thought this was an interesting premise for a book, indeed.

What would happen if you knew that you were going to die, in exactly 20 days? Would you do anything in particular or do anything differently?

Meg has had a hard road in life. She lost her dad early, then she nursed and lost her mother and then her daughter. Her husband left her. She spent her days rattling around in her parents old home, tending to the flowers in the
Antigone Walsh
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
a woman's decision to end her life unexpectedly triggers a zest for life. Meg, at fifty-five, has weathered her share of tragedies. Her daughter, a child conceived after a series of miscarriages dies in a tragic accident. This drives a wedge between Meg and her husband leading to the dissolution of her marriage to a man she still loves. Then her mother, the vibrant soul who instilled an appreciation of flowers and gardening, succumbs to dementia. On the anniversary of her mother's death, Meg ...more
Sherri Lewis
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meg is 55 and battling depression, loneliness & grief. Her daughter died as a teen, then she and her husband divorced as a result of the death of their daughter, then to cap it off Meg's mom died five years ago. Meg doesn't feel like there is any point in going on, so she decides to use the special pills her mom's doctor gave her. Once they were taken, in exactly 20 days the person would pass away quietly in their sleep. Now that she has taken them though, she is starting to have second ...more
Marianne Fokas
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This novel fell a bit flat for me. We meet Meg when it’s around the 5th anniversary of her mother’s death. Her only child, Rose, had died many years before when she was only a child. Her husband, Joe, had left her after Rose had died. She misses her daughter and mom and has regrets concerning how she treated Joe. She feels there is nothing left to live for, her life is lacking and she isn’t happy. She takes these “pearls” which are meant to give her a peaceful death after twenty days. Within ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some readers will be able to relate with the book 'Twenty', some will find it frustrating, and others may feel it is incredible.. bur all will be curious and captivated by it, throughout the story!
This is a very well-written book which keeps the reader guessing.
It will stir up several emotions. Even when it gets frustrating, curiosity will keep the reader reading.
This is a book many of us, who has experienced, loss, loneliness, and a feeling of void in one's life, will easily relate to. The way
Deb Blackbourn
I HAVE to recommend this book! It is one of those books that makes the reader think! And also put themselves in Meg’s position. Meg’s mother was terminal & Meg was her caretaker. Her mother’s doctor gave Meg pills she could give her mother if things got to be more than she could handle. The doctor told Meg that all the pills needed to be taken at one time & her mother would pass away in 20 days. Her mother dies without her needing to use the pills. As Meg’s life progresses, she is ...more
Lori Willett
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful, beautiful way to end my year of reading. I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of this book and decided to finish the year with it since it was a shorter book and the last week or so of the year is always so busy. I enjoyed every single page of this book. Although it is a somewhat sad topic and even though it visits some very sad topics, this book is FILLED with love, hope, miracles and the opportunity to step out of the habit of living a lifeless life. After Meg's decision to ...more
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I grew up loving books. Some of my earliest memories are of trips to the grand old library in downtown Des Moines, where we'd pull book after book off the shelves in the children's section and carry them home with great anticipation. I still remember the feel of those books, and the smell of the pages and bindings that had been loosened and wrinkled by so many readers who loved the books as much ...more
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