Between Before and After

Featured
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
650 0
Between Before and After
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
February 05, 2019
ISBN
978-0310767381
Buy This Book
      

“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 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 the poster child of repressed emotions. Molly spends her California summer alternately watching out for her little brother Angus and tip-toeing around her mother’s raw feelings. Molly needs her mother more than ever, but Elaine shuts herself off from real human connections and buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about. When Uncle Stephen is pressed into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man, Elaine can no longer hide behind other people’s stories. And as Molly digs into her mother’s past, she finds a secret hidden in her mother’s dresser that may be the key to unlocking a family mystery dating to 1918 New York—a secret that could destroy or save their future. Told in dual narratives between 1918 New York City and 1955 San Jose, California, Between Before and After, by award-winning author Maureen McQuerry, explores the nature of family secrets, resiliency, and redemption. This is an historical coming-of-age Young Adult story about the complex bonds between mothers and daughters.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Great YA historical fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Elaine is the child of poor Irish immigrants 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 crushed by the breakup of her parents marriage and desperately attempting to understand her distant mother and learn her secrets.

I really love historical fiction. I find I enjoy YA most often when it has some history to it. It gives the story more depth and perspective. I was really pleasantly surprised to discover that ‘Between Before & After’ contained dual timelines from the 1950’s and 1910’s.

I also loved that the timelines were of a mother and daughter with the mother included in the daughters timeline. I really liked Elaine’s 1910’s story more than Molly’s 1950’s story. The struggles (including poverty, abuse, and alcoholism) of immigrants in New York in the early twenty century is harrowing. I felt like Molly’s story was a little less put together than Elaine’s. A few times the dialog in Molly’s point of view seemed a little rambling. Also, I really thought the whole miracle thing with Uncle Stephan took away from Molly’s story.

Little things I loved about the story: 1950’s pop culture (the characters first trip to McDonald’s) and the homing pigeons.

I thought the story wrapped up well. It gave a good conclusion without being tied up too neatly. I really enjoyed ‘Between Before & After’. A family historical drama with two great YA protagonists. One of my favorite YA’s.
Good Points
1950's and 1910's. Historical fiction. Mother/daughter dual timeline
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Phoebe Unfired
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
CONNECTING IS TOUGH WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN TOUCH ...
Thirty Talks Weird Love
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A 13-year-old girl growing up in Mexico is visited by...
Admission
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lie. Cheat. Bribe. How far would you go to get...
Running
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president,...
City of Spells (Into the Crooked Place, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
City of Spells, the follow-up to Alexandra Christo's gritty YA...
Christmas Parade
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A delightful Christmas board book filled with hilarious characters and...
Best Friend in the Whole World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Roland lives a quiet life filled with books, music, and...
Bird Show
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Susan Stockdale welcomes you to the Bird Show,...
Down Comes the Night
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw...
My Book of Feelings (My World)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Inspired by the Montessori method of education this unique board...
Sweet & Bitter Magic
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery...
My High School Rebel Boyfriend
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
He’s a rebel with a cause… to make my...
The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel comes...
Dark Stars
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dorothy finds herself completely alone. Roman is dead. The...
Follow Your Arrow
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this...
Daughter of Darkness
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
She is destined to kill a demon. He is...

Latest Member Reviews

Christmas Parade
 
4.5
"CHRISTMAS PARADE is another cute and brightly colored board book from Boynton. In this book, children see a Christmas parade,..."
Best Friend in the Whole World
 
5.0
"BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD is a sweet picture book about friends and doing the right thing. Roland lives..."
The Threads of Magic
 
3.0
"Pip picks pockets to get food for himself and his sister, El. When he picks something unexpected, a mysterious box..."
The Smile Shop
 
3.5
"THE SMILE SHOP is a cute story about a young boy who is shopping for something special. He has a..."
Stanley's Lunch Box
 
4.0
"STANLEY'S LUNCH BOX is a cute board book that combines a favorite character with a shopping trip to the market...."
What Are Unicorns Made Of?
 
3.5
"WHAT ARE UNICORNS MADE OF? is a brightly colored board book that questions what makes a unicorn. The rhyming text..."
Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me a Story
 
4.5
"GRANDFATHER BOWHEAD, TELL ME A STORY features a grandfather and grandson whale who are sharing stories. The grandchild asks for..."
Stanley's Toy Box
 
4.0
"Stanley heads to the park with Little Woo and Betty in this cute board book. STANLEY'S TOY BOX depicts a..."
Peek-a-Boo Little Reindeer
 
4.0
"PEEK-A-BOO LITTLE REINDEER is a simple and cute board book with felt flaps to lift on each page. Little Reindeer..."
The Last Fallen Star
 
5.0
"Riley Oh is thrilled for her sister, Hattie, to finally be formally initiated into the Gom clan on her 13th..."
Rescue
 
5.0
"What worked: Engaging historical set during WWII. What interested me the most of this novel is how codes were used..."
Paris Cat
 
3.0
"PARIS CAT is an imaginative picture book about a cat that lives in an alleyway of Paris but dreams of..."
The Last Hazelnut
 
5.0
"THE LAST HAZELNUT is a sweet picture book about friendship, forgiveness, and sharing. Tim and Teo are best friends, and..."
The Night Walk
 
4.5
"THE NIGHT WALK takes the reader on a walk at night through the village and into the wilderness. Parents wake..."
My Very Merry Ugly Christmas Sweater
 
5.0
"MY VERY MERRY UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER is a fun touch-and-feel book that captures all the fun of Christmas attire. The..."
You and Me
 
5.0
"YOU AND ME is a sweet book about love between caregiver and child. The lyrical poetry of the rhyming text,..."
Baby's First Farm
 
4.5
"BABY'S FIRST FARM takes readers on a delightful lift-the-flap journey around the farm. The board book is a simple story..."
Can I Come Too?
 
4.0
"CAN I COME TOO? tells the story of a small mouse who decides to go on a big adventure to..."
Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter
 
3.0
"Karma Moon loves living with her dad in their New York neighborhood, answering phone calls for his Totally Rad documentary..."
Beetle and the Hollowbones
 
5.0
"Beetle is a goblin-witch who isn't loving the small magic her grandmother teaches her. She'd rather hang out with Blob..."