Home Before Dark

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Author:  David, Kate, Michael & Sam Treadway
ISBN: 978-1-4027-6071-6

Home Before Dark is an honest and intense look at an extremely emotional time in the life of the Treadway family. This book began as an exercise proposed by David Treadway to help his wife and two sons cope with their experiences through his battle with cancer.

The book is written by each of the Treadways in turn, all of them in the first person. It started as four separate sets of journal entries that could then be used as the starting point for conversations about the way they were feeling and what they were going through.

David’s diagnosis and the situation the Treadway’s find themselves in is one that none of us ever want to face but there is a good chance many of us will face something similar and that’s part of the reason the Treadway’s have put their writings together and compiled this book. They want to send the message out to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position that they are not alone.


The Treadway family have the sometimes double-edged advantage of David being a psychologist and author and Kate a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. This means they had  reasonably good access to Kate’s colleagues, extra insight into results and ramifications,  and they had David’s insights and interpretations.

David’s original diagnosis was grim and this memoir began as a way for the family to come to terms with what that meant, it started as something just for them. David managed to beat the odds and survive the cancer and that’s when they decided to share their journey with the world, hoping it may ease the ordeal for someone else facing the same terrors.

The four voices are quite different, and all in the first person, so you have to make sure you switch bodies between chapters so to speak. The procedures and the medical side of things are described by Kate and quite detailed as to the procedure. We also have an insight into the internal reactions going on behind the face with David and his psychology degree.

A situation like this changes you, and everyone around you, as you start to re-evaluate life and what’s important. That’s what this book is about, the re-evaluation and the evolution of the family relationships to bring all members back together, to allow them to lean on each other for support in a way that hadn’t happened in a long while.

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