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Who We Were Before

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  12,800 ratings  ·  818 reviews
Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.

Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows
...more
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published October 1st 2016
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  12,800 ratings  ·  818 reviews


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Elaine
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two years after the death of their son Milo, Ed and Zoe have not been united in their grief. In fact they are poles apart and can barely stand to be in the same room at the same time. When Zoe’s parents treat them to a weekend in Paris, will this be enough to draw them back together or will they end up even further apart? They have spent the past two years floundering around in ever widening circles steadily moving away from each other and consistently failing to connect and communicate with eac ...more
Debbie DiFiore
Depressing

Okay this book was just depressing. Edward was a pig and was emotionally cheating on his wife with a co-worker, Fiona. After he lost Zoe at the train, by the way she was mugged and wandering around Paris looking for him, he was calling Fiona and asking her to come to his hotel and take their flirting to a different level so to speak. And she jumped on the train. In the meantime we are treated to flashbacks of a pregnancy, an engagement, a child dying and two people I don't think ever
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Melanie
This was one of those ones you can read from Amazon Prime before they're published, and next time I need to avoid a Brit Lit book, because they're all the same these days.

This book is cribbed from Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, it seems. British multi-voiced fiction where the timeline is all jumbled up, I guess to make you want to read, but I just wanted to stick to the "present day" posts instead of hearing the tedious non-chronological backstory. I ended up skipping parts of it because it wa
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Sarah Joint
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book may be a difficult read for some. It deals with the aftermath of losing a child... a terrible event too many have experienced. We see it through the eyes of both Zoe and Edward, alternating perspectives throughout the book. Because the terrible accident that took their little boy from them happened while he was in the care of Zoe, she deals with awful guilt and he has had periods of blaming her. They've been dealt with it differently to a similar end result... a strained marriage where ...more
Dan
Oct 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This should be taught in school as an example on how NOT to write. I can't believe I actually paid money to read this garbage.

Two POVs both in present and past, it just screams danger. The narrative is not consistent, on occasion it switches different timelines without an actual break to let you know. Dicks and fucks in completely wrong places, it goes from one extreme to another trying to sound like a Shakespeare and your local Chav in the same paragraph.

The story is totally unbelievable. Zoe
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Edee Fallon
I knew going into this story that I was going to be torn apart because of the parallels that exist between the plot and certain life experiences I've survived. With that being said, I feel as if the suspense aspect—will they/won't they find each other—used as a plot device to move the story along overshadowed the anger/grief turned healing that I expected from a subject so heartbreaking. I can't claim to have enjoyed this story. How does one love a book full of such tragedy? But it was mostly we ...more
Kimberly
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Started out interesting enough learning about how they met and how their relationship evolved. The book eventually became monotonous and I skipped through much of the middle. The ending was very abrubt.
LindyLouMac
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my next read for book club for early April. Before I read this I will be reading a book or two on My Kindle which I will record here later. Busy for next few weeks so probably will not be on Goodreads. Back soon.

Having been travelling I have been late picking up this months read for Book Club which is tomorrow!
What an enjoyable read it was. A relationship novel with a very cleverly written approach. It was not until I turned the last page earlier today that I realised I did in fact know
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Ivy
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-ku, fiction
There's nothing worse than losing a child. She knows it wasn't her fault, he doesn't blame her. But she should have been faster and he can't take back his bitter "how could you let this happen?"

Zoe and Edward arrive to Paris. But as soon as they leave the train, they're seperated. She wanders through the streets of Paris alone without wallet or phone, trying to find a hotel, she doesn't know the name of, he drinks at the hotel bar not knowing how to make sure she's ok, when she shuts him out aga
...more
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
Zoe and Edward have been dealing with the accidental death of their toddler for a little over a year now, but the grief and guilt have been driving them more and more apart rather than them being able to gain strength from each other. Zoe has been in a fog for months and Edward has been wanting her to get on with life, though his anger over the situation also stems from grief.

Zoe's parents gift them with a weekend trip to Paris, and they go more for the sake of the parents than for themselves. N
...more
Donna
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How do you deal with the loss of your two-year old son? The unbearable grief, The neverending guilt, The aching sorrow, The self-induced blame, The despair of not wanting to go on, The agony of knowing you will never hold him again...

This is the heartbreaking story of Zoe and Edward, whose son's accidental death is tearing them and their marriage apart. Instead of leaning on each other for support, they pull away from each other.

Struggling to survive day after day, Zoe and Edward were given a
...more
Boundless Book Reviews
Let me just start off by saying this book will grab you, heart and soul, on the very first page. 

Zoe and Edward are fighting to stay in love after the death of their son 2 years before. Zoe blames herself as does her husband. They have drifted further apart as time goes on. They go on a weekend getaway to Paris that Zoes parents set up. While there they are separated and soon they come to realize they do love each other and need each other, now more than ever before. 

This is a hard review. Not b
...more
Christi Winkelman
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
A weird romance novel with cliché emotions driving the plot.


Basically I felt the characters were flat and unnecessarily abusive towards each other. The book can be summed up as too many near misses and swift changes of the heart. I also felt that a book about two Brits lacked all the charm and personality you would expect. This only added to my disappointment.

What on earth is this book about? The best I can figure is that it's either about two immature lovers who get married on the idea that a
...more
Irene
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a heart wrenching read, told in alternating points of view from both Zoe and Edward. The time period moves back and forth between present day when they are on a trip to Paris meant to bring them back together, and the past when they first met, and fell in love. We also learn in these flashbacks how the loss of their child ripped them apart and left them in the precarious state they are currently in. Zoe and Edward thought they were going to be a happily ever after story, but real life g ...more
Heather Lee
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who I am after I read this

I'm a big fan of multiple narrator perspective. And a marriage from both sides in particular is also something I'm drawn to. The author does a good job of balancing the perspectives and explaining how they each got to this point in their marriage. I appreciated knowing from the beginning that Milo died so it wasn't quite such a slap in the face of shock when it happens. I think the reader had to know in order to fully demonstrate how painful their emotional separation i
...more
Barbara
Sep 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. What a depressing story, the past? Terrible. The present? Terrible.

I guess, if I'm being honest, I can say, this kind of things can happen. The change towards the ending...eh...dunno. But the way some react to loss? Yeah. Does happen. BUT...dammit...what a waste of time, of life. Poor Zoe, I expected her to have a better ending, she freaking deserved it. The Edward dude? Hope he choke on a neon sock. I struggled to felt empathy, after all, he lost
...more
Lynne
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
The description made it sound as if it might be something I would enjoy even while dealing with emotions of grief. I read it over two days but it was more of a chore than most for me to finish. The style took some getting used to because it changed perspective between the wife and the husband as well as the past and the present. Overall, I think the author showed some stages of grief including denial and anger. Sad subject matter but it didn't work for me. I doubt I would read this author in the ...more
Sheralee
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A beach read. I liked the characters, the story was interesting but about half way thru it starts to drag on and on and on. It became very repetitive and stopped moving forward. I skimmed and read till the end. With all the detail in the story, the end was rushed and lacked the detail that is found with the rest of the story. It didn't suck but it wasn't great either. ...more
Jenn
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
This was very sweet and sad. Considering the story, I surprisingly didn't shed a tear. Though the story was interesting, it was very long and drawn out with a very abrupt ending. ...more
Kim
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Edward and Zoe's 2 year old son tragically died, they grieved in different ways. He emptied Milo's room and got rid of clothes so they could move on. But Zoe needed to be surrounded by Milo's things and was angry that Edward took everything away so quickly. Edward needed comfort from people and Zoe wanted to be left alone in the dark in her bed. Both grieved deeply, but in completely different ways. How does a couple survive this and remain a strong loving couple? ...more
Darvionne  J Givhan
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this book in one day - it kept my attention! I was so rooting for this couple! I was also frustrated at times with them and wanted to shake both of them! All in all, a good story that showcases the need for communication and how a lack of communication festers and grows because each person is left to their own thoughts about what the other is thinking. I could feel their grief coming off the pages! Thanks for this story!!!
Crystal
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a sad story. Zoe and Edward each tell their story of how they met, married and the loss of their son Milo. The tragedy of that loss weighs them both down to where they never fully grieved. Zoe’s parents give them an overnight getaway to Paris. This trip is bizarre and it brings about numerous changes in them both. Such a great storyline.
Judy
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
potential spoiler:

This book is another kindle freebie, and like so many I have read lately, the timeline bounces around. I guess this is a fad or new trend in writing. With the first few novels like this that I read, I found it added to the interest, but with this one, I just found it tedious. In spite of the style, the story kept me interested and seemed to be heading toward an acceptable end, meaning something other than the trite happily ever after. Then the author succumbed to the need to ti
...more
Mary
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book which highlighted a couple trying to find their way back to each other. The back and forth of the characters was especially well done.
Debbie
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Serendipty but with added tragedy. I cound not put it down!
Gina
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Familiar style and maybe even story line to some I have read recently , but still I enjoyed it. It switches pov from husband to wife, and jumps from past to present, but it not hard to follow.
Jules (Never enough time to read)
2.5*

It was ok. It was a bit slow and bleak for my liking, although the ending did sort of have a slightly, very slight HEA.

It was sad.

marian carroll
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read

This book has everything from laughter to wanting to scream out loud you will be in tears as well
Great book
Tina
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-i-own
At first I was torn about whether or not I wanted to request Who We Were Before on NetGalley. Emotionally-charged books are always on my radar, but some topics are hard for me to read, especially when they deal with cruelty to children, vulnerable people and animals. I also struggle with topics about losing a loved one to illness or accident, since it is something that I am unfortunately too familiar with. I don't choose to read too many books like these as they usually leave me emotionally drai ...more
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Leah can't remember a time when she didn't love writing. From creating fake newspapers to writing letters to the editor, scribbling something was always on the agenda. Even the rejections she received after completing her first novel at age 13 didn't dent her enthusiasm.

So it makes sense, then, that she pursued a career in anything but writing. Public relations, teaching, recruitment, editing med
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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
21 likes · 2 comments
“I think how marriage doesn’t have the power to bind – only the actions of two people can do that. ‘Forever’ and happy endings aren’t a given, and life can be shit, just like the woman on the train said. But perhaps you do need to have faith, too. Faith in yourself, and faith in your relationship.” 2 likes
“I spend a lot of time inside my head. I like it there, blanketed from the world.” 1 likes
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