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Between Here and April

3.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,504 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
When a deep-seated memory suddenly surfaces, Elizabeth Burns becomes obsessed with the long-ago disappearance of her childhood friend April Cassidy. Driven to investigate, Elizabeth discovers a thirty-five-year-old newspaper article revealing the details that had been hidden from her as a child—shocking revelations about April's mother, Adele.

Elizabeth, now herself a mothe
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Algonquin Books
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Contemporary Adult Fiction
34th out of 42 books — 36 voters
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Months of the year
79th out of 225 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,769)
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Dec 08, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was ok
About halfway through, I realized I was really reading for plot more than anything. I really really disliked the main character, even more so as various revelations came out. She was passive and doing so many damaging things to herself, and not confronting her own truths. There were too many threads going on here, and not enough focus. We also learn that all men are evil workaholics with nasty tempers, and all women are depressive, neurotic and unappreciated. (Um, NO. You clearly need to get out ...more
Sep 27, 2008 rivka rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mothers, especially those who have or had difficulty coping when their kids are/were small
Well-written and structurally sound, Between Here and April unfolds gradually, like a flower opening or like peeling an onion.

Motherhood is a very difficult thing, and as the book notes, we learn parenting from our own parents -- even though they and their parenting may well have been flawed and damaged. So the bad gets passed on along with the good . . . be it postpartum depression, lack of coping skills, garden-variety depression, marital tensions, or all of the above.

Intense and shocking, yet
Jan 15, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Elizabeth, a journalist and mother, is one evening jolted by the memory of a friend from first grade who one day "disappeared" from school. She embarks on a journey to find out what happened to the girl, April, and is forced to explore issues such as postpartum depression, patriarchal bias, and filicide. As she digs deeper into April's story, parallels to her own life and relationships, with her mother, her daughters and her husband, become clear. The result is a story that is both Elizabeth's, ...more
Dec 08, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Lisa by: More magazine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it
Funny...a number of my friends (who usually enjoy the same books as I) rated this book very low - where I enjoyed it so much - I had a very hard time putting it down. The protagonist, when haunted by a memory of an early childhood friend who disappeared from her life, starts investigating the 35-year old story. From the book jacket, "Elizabeth's exploration thus leads her ultimately back to herself: her compromised marriage, her increasing self-doubt, her desire for more out of her career and he ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking story about a woman in crisis. Her marriage is crumbling, her career is in stuck in limbo, and she is haunted by the death of her childhood friend. As she uncovers the truth behind her friend's death, she discovers that she has a lot more in common with her friend's mother than she would care to admit. A woman who committed a horrific crime: taking the lives of her two children and her own. This story really resonates. As a society, we are so quick to judge people, their lives, ...more
Bj Jersey
Jan 12, 2015 Bj Jersey rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. It was a little creepy that I was the same age as the main character. The main character was a little annoying at times but that may be my issue because I tend to not like a lot of main characters in books. Lol. It was well written and was very realistic. It shines a light not only on postpartum depression but on the way it was and is treated. It does not justify the murder/suicide but helps you see inside her head a little. It is possible to disagree and sympathize ...more
May 14, 2010 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2011 Tiffany rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
I am not sure why I was drawn to this book. Okay, I am sure. New book in a used book store. $2 price tag. And the fact that the name April was in the title didn't hurt. With words such as "haunting page turner" and "riveting novel that will haunt you" on the back synopsis, I dove in unsure of what to expect.

Elizabeth Burns is the mother of two, a journalist, a wife, a daughter: a woman trying to successfully juggle and wear many different masks throughout the day. And she is having a hard time.
Mar 21, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
I expected Between Here and April to be more of a detective story instead of an intense fictional look at the darker side of motherhood, including post-partum depression and psychosis. Anyone who's ever read an article about a woman who has harmed her children, and thought "How could a mother ever do that?" may find some insight in this book.

The protagonist in the book is a mom of two, juggling a freelance career with her struggling marriage and the chaos of young children. When she begins havin
Jul 04, 2012 Billy rated it really liked it
"People wanted to know the truth. Even if it hurt.",

Regarding this review & my relative understanding of the book, I offer because of the other reviews I have read; 1) I am a male, a happily married (and I certainly believe my wife of 10 years feels the same) father of 2 beautiful girls, 2) my wife had severe postpartum depression after the first of our girls was born, & I knew nothing of the condition until that time 3) I seemed to experience some sort of depression related to the birth
Mar 01, 2012 Florinda rated it liked it
I don't know if it's really news to anyone any more that motherhood isn't always sunshine and rainbows and butterflies - and I think we're lucky to be living in a time when that's more out in the open. It can be a struggle for many of us at times, and for some it's a challenge that may just be too much.

Elizabeth Burns' viewing of a production of Medea triggers a memory of her childhood friend April Cassidy, who was rumored to have been killed by her own mother in a murder/suicide. Once it comes
Sep 24, 2008 Mara rated it really liked it
This book is built around Elizabeth's search to find the truth about what happened to April, her first grade friend who disappeared from school one day. At the time, Elizabeth couldn't get an explanation from her teacher, and her mother was too busy with a new baby and her own issues to really notice that Elizabeth's friend was gone. The truth of what happened isn't too hard for Elizabeth to find out as an adult. After all, when a mother kills herself and her two daughters, there are newspapers ...more
Christine Chapman
Jul 07, 2009 Christine Chapman rated it really liked it
Absolutely wonderful. The book is written by a journalist who shares her struggle with settling for entertainment/pop journalism over the more high-risk and high-paced reporting in war zones when she has children. The book weaves stories of her childhood and the death of a friend whose own mother killed her and her sister while taking her own life. She honestly tells the story of generations of women who have struggled with misunderstood maternal psychosis and stereotypes of "good" women from mu ...more
Ben Lanier
Jul 05, 2015 Ben Lanier rated it it was ok
About page 200 it felt like the author got tired of writing and wanted to make up a "resolution" she clearly had not developed. It was really unfortunate because up to that point this book was exceptional.
May 14, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it
Rough topics but amazingly well written; I devoured it in a few hours to the detriment of all the things I wanted to get done today.
Oct 22, 2008 Ala rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Williams
Jan 07, 2015 Samantha Williams rated it it was amazing
It's a wonderful book! I love the way it's written and I just couldn't put it down!
Jun 06, 2015 Arlene rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Another book that makes me scratch my head when I finished....that seems to happen more and more these days. It seemed to me that the message of this book is that if you have a bad mother, you will be a bad mother. You might rise to a mediocre mom but once you have been imprinted by an uncaring or depressed mom, you are marked for life. Perhaps this is true and I cannot speak to this premise's veracity since I had a good mother. I hope I was a good mom. I never forgot birthdays or left my childr ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Karin rated it really liked it
I got sucked into the story right away... and then I kind of wavered with the introduction of Renzo... and was wondering where it was going and thought it went off track but it quickly came back into focus and I enjoyed the book. Even though it was a disturbing topic. The ending did leave some unanswered questions but it was an acceptable ending... It is hard for any Mom to find those empathetic feelings for someone who takes the life of their children or knowingly puts them in harms way... howe ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Karlan rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
The author of the memoir SHUTTERBABE uses her experience as a journalist in this novel about the difficulty of being a mother whose husband is a workaholic. The novel is cleverly constructed and leads one to think about the agony of post partum depression. The story within a story is gripping and upsetting.
Aug 25, 2015 Joyce rated it liked it
I would rate this 2.5 if possible. There were some parts of it I liked---especially her portrayals of depression but the novel just didn't work for me as a whole. I felt that the parts where she focused on what had happened to her childhood friend were well written. The main character in the book is also going through issues in her own life relating to the challenges of motherhood, problems in her relationship with her husband, and finding her identity in her work now that she is no longer worki ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-edition
I couldn't put this down up until Elizabeth decides to write Adele's story I was enthralled and then it lost me. Elizabeth, a journalist, decides to delve into the death of her childhood friend, April and uncovers a story not too much unlike her own but with hopefully a different outcome. Is when she decided to fictionalize April's mother Adele's story that it seems to fall flat. Which is a shame because up until that point the real story is so much better. But so be it. This was still a good st ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Erica rated it did not like it
never again.
Jun 30, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it
I found this book quite compelling and, at the same time, troubling.

Although I am not a mother myself -- and motherhood is the fulcrum upon which both the plot and theme rest -- I think I understand what the narrator and Adele (the mother of her former elementary school friend, April), were experiencing. Yet I could not entirely relate to Elizabeth -- the narrator -- and, at times (not often, though) even found her not completely believable. Her interest in Adele and what happened to April were
Jan 03, 2009 Laurie rated it liked it
The central charater in this novel is Elizabeth Burns, a journalist and a mother, who is trying desperately to manage the demands and desires of both. Frustrated both with the demands of her home life, as well as with the path her career has taken, Elizabeth tries to revitalize both by investigating the murder of her elementary school best friend, April. April mysteriously disappeared from school in first grade, and it was never entirely clear to 6 year-old Elizabeth precisely what had happened. ...more
Jan 22, 2010 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read the back cover blurb of Deborah Copaken Kogan's Between Here and April, you get the impression you're about to embark on a mystery thriller. That's somewhat of a deception. In reality, Kogan uses a brief murder mystery to address much larger issues.

In Between Here and April, Elizabeth Burns is a journalist and married mom of two daughters. She's struggling with the demands and desires of both career and family, and she feels like she's sinking. When a memory from her childhood sudden
May 30, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
Author Deborah Copaken Kogen approaches the controversial, and emotionally charged, topics of depression and filicidal homicide, as well as the slightly less dubious subject of marital discourse, in her novel "Between Here and April". The theme is dark and loathsome but the book is still captivating, and an enjoyable read.

Kogan draws the reader into the tale with likeable main characters and an easy style of writing. From reading the book jacket we already know what story will unfold within the
Jun 09, 2010 Denise rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars Maternal filicide....., September 8, 2008

This review is from: Between Here and April (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)
I thought this book was OK. I was hoping for more of a thriller given the premise that Elizabeth wants to solve the mystery of what happened to her friend April back when they were best friends in first grade. Not sure exactly how the memory "came" to her, but it was triggered and Elizabeth soon begins a very obsessive ques
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“Stories are how we make sense of our lives. To tell a story is to own it: to own the narrative thread to own a piece of our past. And when we own a story when we put it in a tidy box and store it on a high shelf it becomes manageable so that whatever negative effects it's been having on us are in theory lessened.” 4 likes
“My truth she'd said to him. What the hell is truth anyway
Two separate questions yes. But not wholly unrelated. For truth no matter the modifier is always intrinsically modified.”
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