cover image The Space Between Before and After

The Space Between Before and After

Jean Reynolds Page, Author . Avon $13.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-145218-5

In this complex, multilayered book, Page (Accidental Happiness ) revisits familiar themes in the story of one family coming to terms with loss and past events. On the morning of the space shuttle Columbia disaster, Holli Templeton is sick with worry, as NASA milestones have proven to be “harbingers of raw, personal events.” Her mother was killed in a car accident on the night of the moon landing, and she suffered a miscarriage the same day the Challenger exploded. Sure enough, as soon as the wreckage of Columbia clears, Holli finds out that her grandmother, Raine, seems to be losing her grip on reality. Meanwhile Holli's 20-year-old son, Conner, is nursing his chronically ill girlfriend and pondering his future. Complex interactions between Holli, Raine and Holli's difficult stepmother, Georgia, further complicate the situation, and in order to care for her aging grandmother and overwhelmed son, Holli must let go of her long-held resentments and see her family in a new light. Although Page's penchant for flowery description can be distracting, she seamlessly navigates the book's intertwining narratives and presents believable characters, at once imperfect and utterly sympathetic. Both the story's emotional pull and intricate plot twists are sure to seduce new readers. (May)