Ben and Sandra Doller dive straight into a foreboding and brutally honest real-life account of their cohabitation with their newest roommate, cancer. The Yesterday Project was co-written by the Dollers in the wake of a life-threatening diagnosis: melanoma cancer, stage 3. The project lasts a total of 32 days with each writer taking a moment each day to go back and recollect the previous day’s experiences.
Ben and Sandra Doller seem to go about their days with a looming grey cloud floating above their heads. The pair put on a brave face only to make each other feel better, but in the private accounts of their days, the reader experiences the real-life, interior struggle they are both working through. “I forgot about the long night, how I woke up thinking about your cancer . . . why do they keep talking about three-year, five-year survival, and what is the mark. When will I know if you’ve survived.”
The Yesterday Project is broken into five sections that grow and change with the authors as the story progresses. The project itself feels as if it is a living, breathing organism that is learning to cope with the feelings of the writers that brought it to life. Although only one of them has been diagnosed with cancer, it is clear that they are in this together where it concerns drastic changes in their diet and exercise.
“We didn’t even know where we were going and yesterday we finally got there.” This journey down a dark unmarked road is terrifying but the couple faces it head-on with hands held. As the project draws to the end, readers experience the first bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Though The Yesterday Project proved tedious to the Doller’s at times, it was worth it in the end to see that imperfectly perfect final product.
The Yesterday Project is a heart laid bare on the pages, and you have no choice but to read it through to the end. It delves into the human psyche at a time of tragedy and explores feelings of gloom, anger, love, confusion, loss, and most importantly companionship. With naturally poetic voices, beautiful prose, and easily relatable human issues this book is sure to appeal to a large audience of readers.