Before Ever After

Before Ever After

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Publisher: New York : Crown, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307719874
Branch Call Number: FICTION SOT
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 25 cm.

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CRRL_VirginiaJohnson Jun 08, 2017

Three years may have passed, but young widow Shelley can not get over her late husband Max. Their brief time together was so happy, or so she believed until the day Paolo shows up on her doorstep with an album of pictures. The man in them, who he claims is his grandfather, seems ageless--and is very much alive. A love story with a difference.

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greenacres
Aug 24, 2016

If you liked the Time Traveller's Wife you'll enjoy this.

DanniOcean Mar 26, 2012

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, March 2012

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DanniOcean Mar 26, 2012

Most chick-lit begins with a heroine going through a number of awkward and cringe-worthy moments before ending happily ever after with the prince charming of her dreams. This is not that novel. Shelly has been mourning her prince charming for three years since he was killed by a bomb in Spain, barely able to breathe under the weight of his absence. Ironically, on the day she finally begins to heal, a stranger arrives on her doorstep who reminds her of Max to such an extent that she begins to wonder how well she knew her husband. Together she and the stranger embark on what becomes a very surreal journey, back to the European trip five years earlier where Shelly first met Max, and as she recounts each leg of the tour she begins to realize that the very off-the-beaten-track trip on which Max led them was actually revealing something about Max and his own history. And what a strangely detailed history it is, with stops at the French Revolution, The Battle of Bicocca during the Italian War of 1521, a small monastery in Austria in the 1200s, the birth of Venice, the eruption of Vesuvius, and an encounter with a Slovenian demonic legend. The historical stories are fascinating, and what keeps Shelly’s parts from being strictly chick-lit and makes it literary is the authors beautiful, poetic turns of phrases as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her husband. Monsters and death haunt her at every step, and as she gets closer to the truth of her husband’s story, she is faced with a terrible, life-altering decision. And here is the spoiler - Shelly makes the decision, but the author leaves her readers wondering about the result. Some readers will find this unsatisfying, but this is the type of novel that can get under your skin and niggle at you for a long time. For ever after, in fact.

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DanniOcean Mar 26, 2012

"...you could get through anything if you had a chicken, and the clucking kind, in his expert opinion, had far more uses than the ones nesting on warm mashed potatoes and gravy."

A central theme of this novel...

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