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Ratings and Reviews (7 28 star ratings
7 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
28
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Just what is forgiveness?

    Before and Again is one of those rare books that once you start, you just cannot put down, and as soon as you turn the last page you want to start all over again. Yes, it’s that good. Once again author Barbara Delinsky has written a book that will catch your heart and soul and stay with you for a long time. On the surface, Before and Again is about the terrible, terrible mistake Mackenzie Cooper made. Five seconds of carelessness that cost her not only her daughter but her marriage, family, friends, job, privacy, even her name ―and the ability to look at herself in the mirror without seeing a monster. A monster that deserves to remain unforgiven for the rest of her life. No one could be harder on Mackenzie, now Maggie, than she is on herself. She is only at peace with her cats and dog. But as we get to know Maggie, we see that she is much stronger than she believes, and she has a good heart. She has made new friends, although she has not revealed much of herself to them, and her work as a makeup artist has meaning and helps others. Before and Again has so many twists and turns and is so full of suspense that it is almost a mystery. Maggie may be the main character, but all the characters are so well developed and have such compelling stories of their own that you become immersed in all their lives. Circumstances and events challenge Maggie: she is not the only one to experience family tragedy or need forgiveness or a fresh start. She is forced to make choices, and some of those choices may compromise the layers she has built to hide her past. This is not a short book or a fast read, but the writing is so fluid it’s an amazingly smooth read. I read it nearly straight through because the world outside of Maggie’s life just disappeared. I hate spoilers and don’t want to reveal too much about the choices Maggie and others must make because I was on edge until the very end wondering how – or if – things would be resolved. Before and Again will introduce you to characters that are flawed but so engaging you must know the end of their stories, and take you through their heartache, loss, grief, guilt, hope, friendships, family drama, romance, and most of all - love. Barbara Delinsky is always one of my go-to authors, but she has outdone herself this time. Before and Again is a riveting, completely satisfying story that I recommend without hesitation. Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and honestly review this amazing book.
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    Emotional read

    This is a highly emotional and powerful story. It's a story of horrendous loss, self loathing, forgiveness, and starting over. The characters are well developed. They are flawed, engaging, and lovable. The story is memorable and I enjoyed the small town flair. My only complaint, and I never thought I'd say this but, the writing is almost too descriptive making the flow slow and the story feel drawn out. I found myself skimming several pages - how much do I need to know about applying makeup to get the gist of the story? Even with this I walked away from the book with a warm heart and a smile. I would definitely recommend it.
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    Before and Again

    What a wonderful story. Lots of ups and downs but love conquers all. Barbara has outdone herself in this book.
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    Barbara Delinsky at her best

    Classic Barbara Delinsky novel of the emotional responses to tragedy and overcoming loss to a better life ahead. Maggie Reid, makeup artist, has made a life for herself in Devon, Vermont, a town that attracts a lot of people who need a fresh start, no questions about the past ever asked. Her best friend, massage therapist, Grace Emory works at the Spa with Maggie and has her own secrets. Maggie's unraveling begins when Grace's 15 yr old son, Chris, is charged with hacking, forcing Maggie chose to hide to protect herself or to stand with her friend and risk exposure. Complicating the issue is the arrival of Ned Cooper, head of the group who just purchased the Devon Inn & Spa. Maggie must confront her past actions, and forgive herself as well as those who abandoned her in her darkest days before so she can face trying again to have a full life that includes the love of others. It seems like it has been years since I last read Barbara Delinsky novel with her unique stories dealing with family tragedies and redemption. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the characters. I volunteered to read an ARC from St. Martin's Press through Net Galley
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    Suits the book

    Great reead. Couldn't put it down, lots of tears.
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