05 March 2019

Between Before & After | Book Review


“The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”

Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows her mother is nursing a carefully-kept secret. A writer with an obsession for other people’s life stories, Elaine Donnelly is the poster child of repressed emotions.

Molly spends her California summer alternately watching out for her little brother Angus and tip-toeing around her mother’s raw feelings. Molly needs her mother more than ever, but Elaine shuts herself off from real human connections and buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about. When Uncle Stephen is pressed into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man, Elaine can no longer hide behind other people’s stories. And as Molly digs into her mother’s past, she finds a secret hidden in her mother’s dresser that may be the key to unlocking a family mystery dating to 1918 New York—a secret that could destroy or save their future.

Publisher: Blink
Release Date: February 5, 2019


Take a trip into the past with Maureen Doyle McQuerry’s Between Before & After. Alternating between the experiences of mother and daughter, it explores the good and the bad—family, loss, depression, betrayal, hope, and love—and proves entirely engaging.

In 1955, Molly Donnelly is in need of her mother. Yet, thanks to her mother’s depression and well-guarded secrets, Molly cannot seem to bridge the disconnect. So, she hunts for the truth of the long-buried past, and the story delves into the reality of a 1918 epidemic. Emotions run high, but the journey of discovery makes it all worthwhile.

An excellent YA read, Between Before & After is a story I enjoyed and now recommend.


Thanks to the Blink YA Books, I received a complimentary copy of Between Before & After and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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