REVIEW – Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

Before and Again

Expected publication: June 26, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press


I’ve enjoyed quite a few novels written by Barbara Delinsky and as soon as I read the description for “ Before and Again ”, I knew I had to read it. I’m thrilled to say that I really enjoyed this novel.

After a very heartbreaking beginning, I was immediately pulled into the story…

Mackenzie Cooper has a wonderful life. She is a talented artist, she has many good friends and above all, she has a wonderful husband and five-year-old daughter.

But in one moment she loses it all.

A shattered version of her former self, Mackenzie, now known as Maggie Reid, slowly begins to build a very different kind of life. She craves privacy and she finds it in a small town in Vermont. Four years later she lives a quiet life in her secluded little house with her beloved pets. Maggie has also found meaning in the work she now does. Helping people feel good about themselves is very healing.

“To live through trauma and thrive? That was my goal”

Though she likes to keep to herself, she has made a few good friends. She’s become especially close with a co-worker, Grace. Grace also likes the privacy the town provides. By an unspoken rule, they don’t discuss the past….

“Our friendship was about the here and now”

But everything changes when Grace suddenly needs Maggie’s help. On top of that, people from her past start turning up; disrupting the life she has made for herself. There are three things Maggie avoids as much as possible “law offices, police stations, and the press – and now here they all were”

Will Maggie help her friend? Even if it means that her own anonymity may be threatened?

This was such a great read! The story was engaging and I thought the characters were wonderfully fleshed out. I loved Maggie along with many of the other characters, their stories captured my heart. Even the characters with smaller parts were intriguing.

“When you lose the most precious thing in your life, how do you go on?”

The story shows that no matter how old we, we continue to learn from all of our experiences… including trauma. We may try to keep things locked up in a box (real or imagined) but eventually, we will likely need to go through that box to confront things that may be painful to think about.

I love how Barbara Delinsky tells a story. The story was very emotional at times. However, this well-written novel also had many humorous moments that kept things from being too heavy for too long. “Before and Again” is a touching story about loss, grief, blame, love, and forgiveness.

This was a fantastic read that I won’t soon forget.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.


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