Blog Tour: Between Before and After

Between Before and After by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
February 5, 2019 from BLINK
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Historical, Mystery
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“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.

REVIEW: I’m torn on how to review this one… While I enjoyed reading, and the writing style and even pace are impeccable, it also deals with heavy topics including a detailed seen dealing with abortion, that I can’t really recommend it for teens. I know that some have already dealt with these more adult topics, and even worse, but for an ‘over all’ recommendation, I don’t recommend teachers/librarians/ etc encourage all teens read this, and think it’s important to note the heavy content since it isn’t suitable for everyone, but in some cases I can see this being okay for older teens. That said, I think young adults (18 – 20+) and even adults can enjoy this story.
I did love the story and even as the story switched between past and present there was no confusion or struggle for my to follow along and still understand what was happening. I enjoyed seeing how the characters, and author, dealt with the various challenges the story deals with.

Maureen Doyle McQuerry 

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 Horne Book recommended book, and a winner of the Westchester Award. Her most recent book is Beyond the Door (Abrams/Amulet), a Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth. It is the first in a MG duo that combines, Celtic myth, shapeshifters and a secret code in a coming of age story. The adventure continues in The Telling Stone. Beyond the Door is a current finalist for the WA State Book awards.

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