Before Everything

Victoria Redel. Viking, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-735222-5-71
In this touching story of friendship and loss, five very close friends come together to relive a lifetime of memories when a member of their close-knit tribe enters hospice care after a long battle with cancer. Each woman has a resonant relationship with Anna, the dying math teacher and musician who was always the group’s most adventurous spirit, but the story of the five women and how they share their lives with each other over decades of friendship is what gives the novel its greatest power. Weaving together a cinematic montage of moments both life-changing and mundane, Redel (Loverboy) paints Anna’s life as seen by others: her closest friends, who are always at her side; her husband, from whom she has separated; her brothers, who want her to fight the illness and refuse to accept her decision to enter hospice care; her children, grieving her impending loss even as they embark on exciting lives as young adults; and the many other characters who populate this richly realized novel. The result is an unflinching and affecting look at how one woman’s final days change the lives of those around her. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/27/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-7352-2258-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-4328-4144-7
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