Advance reader reviews of Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto.

Before Ever After

A Novel

By Samantha Sotto

Before Ever After
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    304 pages.

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There are currently 20 member reviews
for Before Ever After
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  • Cathy R. (Scottsdale, AZ)

    Before Ever After
    Not sure if I loved the book or just liked it. All the elements were there--love story, time travel, historical novel--but the sexual innuendos and chicken themes were distracting. It is a light read with deeper undertones that had they been developed would certainly have warranted a higher rating for the book.
  • Susan K. (dartmouth, MA)

    Before Ever After
    Whew! Feel like I need to catch my breath after this one. So many things going on - all the time. I really wanted to like this book, and I did, from time to time, but it was too scattered. I feel like every time the author had a new idea she just had to include it. I think the book has a very interesting premise, but some good, hard editing would make it so much more readable.
  • Julia H. (Excelsior, MN)

    Before Ever After
    I was completely captivated by Samantha Sotto's novel, Before Ever After. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but when I sat down to read it, it was difficult to tear myself away. I liked Shelley's character a lot, it's difficult to lose a spouse. The story moves back and forth in time, especially to the European tour Shelley took around the off the beaten track areas where she met her husband Max. The historical stories of a woman named Isabelle and her ancestors were very compelling and touched on many areas of history. I think the twists in the story would make it great for book club discussions.
  • Elly M. (Roswell, NM)

    Definite Thumbs Up!
    On several occasions, I have found debut novels to be great reads and certainly "Before Ever After" is no exception. Well, except, perhaps, it goes beyond simply being a "great read".

    I was immediately drawn into the story by Sotto's excellent writing skills, finding myself willingly carried off on a thought-provoking adventure. Her characters were so well portrayed that I felt a comfortable kinship to them and enjoyed being in their company. Having traveled to two of the locations in the novel might have some bearing on my feelings of "being there", but the author painted all locales with a sense of familiarity.

    I would strongly recommend this book to reading groups as the subject matter guarantees much discussion.
  • Kathleen Z. (oxford, mi)

    Fan of the Spoken or Written Word?
    A kind of modern day twist on "The Gift of the Magi" and "Romeo and Juliet". I liked the book. If you know someone who adds an extra dimension to conversation, just by using a word not usually placed in a particular sentence, but given the particular circumstance you find yourself in...the word is perfect, then you have and idea of the writing ability of this author. The conversation between the characters, as well as individual thoughts and feelings, are about as real as you can get. I see the movie coming, instead of a feather floating around (as in Forest Gump) you will hear and egg cracking or see Shelley tripping.
  • Lisa B. (Denton, TX)

    Before Ever After
    I was very excited to be receiving this book and loved the concept of it. The story kept me interested, the attention to historical detail and obviously thorough historical research I found impressive. I kept wishing that such a tour actually existed because I would like nothing more than to go on a tour of Europe in a Volkswagen van, exploring places that tourists never go.

    However, I was a little disappointed in the writing, which seemed self concious and a little over the top, as though the author was trying to sound literary, but didn't quite make it.

    I think it is well worth reading and makes a great read for a virtual tour of Europe.
  • Amy O. (Scottsdale, AZ)

    I Love You Max!
    Quite a unique read. Here we have a not your normal historical, time-shifting, love story of a page-turner. Talk about a magic mystery tour. Max is a tour guide extraordinare. Not only is he irrestible to Shelley but he also makes the past seem to come alive. Although the writing is sometimes a bit thin, Sotto takes us along a memorable path of a story strewn with nuggets of wisdom about life and the death defying power of love. A must read for this summer!
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