Between Before and After
Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows ...more
Ms. McQuerry's writing style is absolutely captivating, as I can guarantee you will be unable to stop flipping the pages of this book due to its ability to enchant readers. Everything from the plot, setting, and characters in this novel are original and unforgettable. I loved reading in the perspectives of both Molly and her mother, Elaine, for they both had such exquisitely different wa ...more
*I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Elaine is the child of poor Irish immigrants. She is growing up in turn of the century New York City. When Elaine's mother dies from the Spanish flu, Elaine struggles to keep her family together.
Elaine's daughter, Molly, is growing up in 1950's San José, California. She is
In 1955, Molly Donnelly is in need of her mother. Yet, thanks to her mother’s depression and well-guarded secrets, Molly cannot seem to bridge the disconnect. So, she hunts for the truth of the long-buried past, and the story delves into the reali ...more
This was an interesting book. It delved into some pretty deep topics, which were heavier than I expected. I was really captivated by the endurance of these characters, and found myself fully immersed in the world Doyle McQuerry has created.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was its dual timeline narrative. I recently had a conversation with a fellow booknerd about how much I appreciate the buildup that comes with this type of s ...more
Despite everything that I loved, the content was mature enough that I cannot recommend this book to teens. There was a description of how abortion is performed and prematernal sex ...more
I love a story with dual timelines. It's a trope that I just really enjoy, and in this story it was doen particularly well. This story follows Molly in 1955, learning about her mother's mysterious past. This is a story about love, family, secrets, miracles and hope. The writing was beautiful and I especially enjoyed reading about Elaine and her story of survival as a poor street child struggling to take care of her brother i ...more
A book that managed to tie the past and present together with the undertones of a fairytale gives us a story that shows how far someone will go to protect the ones they love and just how similar mothers and daughters can be.
“Between Before and After” finds Molly digging through her mother’s drawers when she finds a mysterious envelope that makes her question what secrets lie in her past and what it can tell her about their future as a family.
I really loved the style of this book ...more
“The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”...more
Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows her mother is nursing a carefully-kept secret. A writer with an obsession for other people’s life stories, Elaine Donnelly is
She hacked at their ruffled blooms
until they dropped into monstrous drifts
of red on the parched yellow lawn"
As far as the story, and writing, go, I have very little to complain about. Several times I found myself losing track of time and space as I was absorbed into the story. More than once I was forced to stop and really think about the events that happened, each one taking a toll on me emotionally as if I was Molly or Elaine, living through it. This is th ...more
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
Recommended Age: 13+ (pain, past, secrets, loss and love)
Synopsis: “The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”
Fourteen-year-old Mo ...more
Once I started this story I was lost into the pages, so it was easy to spend hours reading this book. I fi ...more
In an effort to figure out what is happening with her mother, Molly embarks on a fact-finding mission to try and figure ...more
AFTER: Molly's parents are separated. Her dad left because her mom (Elaine) wouldn't let the 'past st ...more
Enter the GIVEAWAY on my blog, Absolute Bookishness. (Ends 2/15/2019.)
Told in alternating perspectives between Molly and her mother, Elaine, Between Before and After crosses distance and time–from 1955 San Jose, California to 1919 Brooklyn, New York and back–spinning a tale of grief, determination, and wonder.
In Between Before and After, McQuerry reveals the strained, tenuou ...more
As someone who doesn’t read a huge amount of historical fiction (though I have read quite a bit this year) so please take that into account when you read my review. I can’t speak to tropes or what may be cliché or new or exciting – I can only speak to my experience reading this book – just something to keep in mind.
I loved the way that this book had a split narrative. I’ve read books that follow two different timelines before (a huge trend around the same ti ...more
This poignant tale of family, coming of age, and miracles, follows fourteen year old Elaine and her brother Stephen as they fight to survive after the death of their mother, with their absent alcoholic father. Elaine finds a job with a wealthy family to support her family.
Thirty years later Elaine's fourteen year old daughter Molly gets the idea to find out more about her troubled mother's past, drawing inspiration from her mother's career as a biography author. As the pieces begin to ...more
All of my books have an element of mystery and magic, even the realistic stories. And as a friend pointed out, there is a library in every one of them. It must be because libraries have always been magical places for me.
Maureen McQuerry is an award winning poet, novelist and teacher. Her YA novel, The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet 2012) is an ALA Best Book for Young Adult Readers 2013, Bank Street and ...more