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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • 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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    9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • 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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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Good read!

    I loved getting to know these people and discovering their lives.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Disappointing Read

    Maggie Reid, previously known as Mackenzie Cooper, has settled in Vermont after the death of her daughter Lily in an auto accident. Working as a make-up artist at a spa in a local inn, Maggie has reinvented herself after the accident, which occurred when she lost focus while driving Lily to a playdate. Her new life changes when her ex-husband Edward (aka Ned) arrives as the new owner of the inn where Maggie work. While the plot of this book was interesting at first, I found much of the book plodding. The ending was a happy one for the main characters, but as a reader I felt less satisfied. A disappointing read.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Loved this book.

    I read my first book from this author in 1984, and read most off her books published since. This one is particularly touching. Highly recommended.

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

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