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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.
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.
Jeanne C. (Ventura, CA)
Not for Me
I loved the quirkiness of Amanda Sotto’s writing, the delightful coupling of unexpected items. I had a hard time following the storyline at times; it felt disjointed. The book is well-written. However, the many vignettes of suffering, pain, and destruction depressed me and nearly caused me to stop reading the book. The depressing vignettes did have a purpose in the weaving of the story, but perhaps there were just too many of them. The ending was a surprise.
Kristin P. (Elburn, IL)
Before Ever After
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was one of the most creative books that I have read in years. It was well-executed and unlike other recent books that stretch the creativity bounds- Before Ever After's creativity was believable. This book is a great individual read, however, I would not recommend the book for a book club. This book exemplifies the art of storytelling, but it is not set-up for the typical book club analysis. If you like Audrey Niffenegger give this book a try.
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.
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.
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.
Jan B. (Tetonia, ID)
Before Ever After
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.
WOW! I sure like the concept of the story and how the author was developing it. I did find that the characters and the dialogue were not developed enough to make it truly captivating for me. It seemed like a very quick, fast forward sketched out trip. The historical stops were intriguing but becoming tiresome. I hope the author keeps writing more books as I Iove that she has such a wonderful way of viewing a story.