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Before Ever After

A Novel

by Samantha Sotto

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 24 reader reviews for Before Ever After
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Ella

Unique and Intriguing
We had to make reports on books written by Filipino's and I chose this book. It may be Samantha Sotto's first book but I have to say that I was hooked from the start. It had a unique perspective and it shifted from different times and places. The plot was very well done with surprising twists and turns that made it much more intriguing. Credits to Samantha Sotto for a very good book.
Laurette A. (Rome, New York)

A totally surprising and very satisfying read
"Before Ever After" took me literally by surprise. Samanth Sotto's first novel hooked me from the beginning and slowly reeled me into the story to the point where I had to make myself stop reading in order to get anything else done. Without giving the plot away let me say that the author is a great storyteller and I highly recommend this book that others have described as a romance-mystery-historical adventure. This book is a winner and was tailor-made for book clubs and possibly a movie! My only regret is that Ms. Sotto did not include the recipe for Max's baked eggs! You won't be disappointed reading this.
Deb R

She did a good job for her first book
I really liked this book. I did have to go back & re read the first three chapters to get on board. Once I did I totally got it.

The chicken theme, in my opinion made the story more interesting.

I was disappointed that there was a recipe included for the special egg dish.
Judy H

Great Read
This is ambitious. Hedonism, existentialism, darkness, resilience, comedy, familial love, romantic love, true love – themes that are explored in this novel that at some point in our lives, we’ve experienced either in a small, medium or encompassing way. The clever use of vignettes to portray these themes as Max is constructed (or deconstructed depending on an individual’s point of view) is where, in my opinion, the ambition of the book coincides with its brilliance.

All in all, the combination of the vignettes and the various contexts it gives, the dry Brit humor, excellent historical backdrops, and the dash of the supernatural make this an excellent and entertaining read for the summer. Definitely a two thumbs up.
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.
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.
Carisse

Before Ever After
Before Ever After is a novel that appeals to readers on so many levels. The lover of suspense will find that turning the page adds to, rather than diminishes the mystery. Those who are intrigued by European history will find tidbits that will whet their interest even more. Those who like to dig deeper into a character's psyche will not come away empty-handed. In fact, it is a credit to the author that she has fleshed out the main characters to such an extent that the reader can truly understand what makes them tick. There is a bit of philosophical thought thrown in, too, that would make you re-think the concepts of time and "forever after."
All those layers have been built on this love story that is unlike any other I have ever read. And even if it were just the most basic of love stories, I would still have found so much pleasure reading it - because Samantha Sotto is a wordsmith who paints pictures with her words.
Ivy P. (Doylestown, PA)

Detailed and Interesting
I found “Before Ever After” to be consistently enjoyable. The language and tone was fun yet thoughtful and tended to remind me to laugh more than I expected. I liked the intriguing mix of mystery, eclectic locales, and especially the main character’s curiously amusing observational style. I’m not sure I would recommend it for a typical book club, but I do admit that I thought there was actually quite a lot that I would discuss with a close friend. I enjoyed reading this book in many sittings, but I delighted in it most when I really got a chance to sit down and spend real time soaking up the constantly changing settings and moods.
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