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Beth Cramer
Why Didn't I Notice Her Before
Beth Cramer, author

Adult; Memoir; (Publish)

In the fall of 2017, Beth Cramer went to a doctor for heartburn and came home with seven samples of Prilosec and stage 4 ovarian cancer. Over the next several months Cramer was in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices with her three fearless sisters, parents, husband and son by her side. However, it was through her diagnosis and impending death that she was finally set free from an obsession and debilitating regret that had defined nearly a quarter of her life. Irreverent, painfully honesty and often hilarious, Why Didn’t I Notice Her Before? is a beautifully observed memoir that finds courage and humor in the face of undefeatable odds. It questions the importance of regret and life choices, and it explores motherhood, marriage, friendship, and family while examining the elusive questions we all grapple with. Why me? What am I living for? And who can I negotiate with to make my life and legacy more meaningful than driving a carpool?

Allison Zinczenko

I downloaded this book when I woke up in the morning, and read it throughout the day, stealing moments on my Kindle app while I waited in lines, and finished it in one day. I was gripped from the very first page. The author's background as a visual story teller certainly translates to the written word too. I was prepared to cry -- and I did -- but I also laughed out loud, more than I expected. The author's frank, honest approach to her life is something we can all learn from. Her relationships shine in her telling her story, and I can't help but think what a wonderful gift it is for the people she is closest to. I really loved this book.

Bill Jones

While this book sits outside my typical summer reading genre, I was excited to give a memoir a try after failing to get all the way through the last two novels I was committed to. I was not disappointed. Pouring through the pages over a day and a half, unable to put it down, it proved to be the best book I read this year. The author has an amazing story to tell and I'm glad she did. WHY DIDN'T I NOTICE HER BEFORE was intriguing from page one and begins long before the author was diagnosed with cancer. Her story, and journey, exposes details that are raw, real, inspiring, and funny. Regardless of your emotional connection to cancer - and I think at this point we all have one - this book will not disappoint.


The author writes in a compelling manner. It made me laugh and cry at various points, but what the author does best is bring up points that those that contemplate death rarely consider or write about. It is at those points that one stops reading and ponders and think through your own thoughts and feelings about situations considered. The characters in the book come alive and it seems you were a member of the family going through what the author and family experienced. Highly recommend.

Lisa Miller

I loved the book. I'm keeping it by my side even though I finished it. It was so relatable.. from sister dynamics, family bonds, mother/son love, depression and cancer... raw, hopeful, humorous, inspirational... A must read..


Mia Van Moylan

I loved this book, Beth speaks her truth and all the eternal conflict we feel. This book is raw and beautifully written. I loved her sense of humor in times of great grief, it’s a real triumph!


My daughter gave me this book to read. Our family has had way too much experience with cancer, and we have managed to retain a bit of equilibrium. But I wish we had had this memoir two decades ago. Everything in it is true, pertinent, and clear. And it's both funny and fun to read. Humor shines through. You can start at the beginning and read through, or, as I did by chance, start with "Playing the C Card." Just get it and read it. You may emerge a better person.

Sharon L. Burka

While the journey is unique and very personal to her, Beth Cramer's messages throughout her book are universal. One would be hard pressed not to look at one's own life through the lens she so eloquently shares and this book is a must read for anyone saddled with regrets, doubts and what ifs. She writes with extreme insight and grace as she faces serious illness and attempts to forge her own path while honoring her husband and extended family. At the end of the day, Beth Cramer's words are the ultimate gift to her son who turns out to be not only enough, but everything.

Wendy Zalzman

Beth Cramer writes with heart, raw emotion, pain, truth and a little bit of humor. Her journey is inspiring and thought provoking. I couldn't put it down.