Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I went into this expecting something far less than it was - what a wonderful surprise! This love story, intermixed with impressively personal historical fiction, is a perfect rainy fall read.
One of the problems with historical fiction is when seemingly normal, average people suddenly find themselves in the middle of Major Historical Events, interacting with Very Important People. With one exception (Adrien's story) that doesn't happen here; we get the sense of what these average lives were like without the addition of a familiar marker. I confess that I did spend some time looking up the places mentioned and would love to visit them, with or without Max as my tour guide.
The themes of love and loss, eternal life and family are touched upon beautifully, as lightly as the historical aspects are. It was truly difficult to realize that the ending was near, and that we weren't being treated to the infamous baked eggs and cheese recipe.
ARC provided by publisher.