Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Before and Again


Author: Barbara Delinsky
Genre: Women's Fiction
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: St Martin's Press
First Published: June 26, 2018
First Line: "Mackenzie Cooper had no idea where she was or, more critically, why she hadn't already arrived."

Book Description from GoodReadsMackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment, but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made―though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself―or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.
 


My Rating: 2 stars

My Review: I picked up this book because I had never read Barbara Delinsky before and wanted to see what the fuss was about. Many readers loved this book, but I struggled for weeks to get through this book. 

From its blurb it sounded like a good fit for me, but the execution was weak. First, too much page time was spent describing actions or scenes (like pottery making or make-up application) that didn't propel the story forward. Second, the characters, especially Maggie, could have had a lot more depth. Third, there was a definite lack of emotion for a book that dealt with big issues and readers aren't given enough time to buy into the reasons for much of the emotional discord and hurt. 

This book had a good premise, but I think it was trying to be too many things - women's fiction, a book about grief, a crime novel and a story about a woman struggling to rebuild her life. It was too melodramatic with characters who lacked depth, a story that lacked focus (but made up for it in predictability and convenient coincidences) and too many pages were spent describing scenes that pushed me away from the story instead of into it.

Disclaimer: This Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 


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