Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 book 272

Sarah Cornwell's What I Had Before I Had You
Really lovely novel about a recently divorced woman who is traveling to her childhood hometown with her children to visit an old friend, when her (troubled) son disappears. That's all interspersed with the story of the eventful summer she had when she was fifteen, meeting new friends and dealing with her legitimately insane mother. It's also about family bonds and inheritances and secrets, first loves and intense friendships, inevitability, and art and creativity. Parts of this are kind of dark and depressing, but it all rings very true. And it's not a mystery or anything, but the way Cornwell reveals the truth about the protagonist's family is really well done and has a great sense of tension. Absolutely stellar first novel. A.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in January.

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