April 28, 2019

#BookReview for Between Before & After by @maureenmcquerry @BlinkYABooks ‏


Synopsis: “The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”

Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows her mother is nursing a carefully-kept secret. A writer with an obsession for other people’s life stories, Elaine Donnelly is the poster child of repressed emotions.

Molly spends her California summer alternately watching out for her little brother Angus and tip-toeing around her mother’s raw feelings. Molly needs her mother more than ever, but Elaine shuts herself off from real human connections and buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about. When Uncle Stephen is pressed into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man, Elaine can no longer hide behind other people’s stories. And as Molly digs into her mother’s past, she finds a secret hidden in her mother’s dresser that may be the key to unlocking a family mystery dating to 1918 New York—a secret that could destroy or save their future.


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About the Author: 
Maureen McQuerry is an award-winning novelist, teacher, and sometime poet. Her novels include, The Peculiars  (ALA Best Book for Young Adult Readers 2013, and winner of the Westchester Award), the MG Time Out of Time duet: Beyond the Door and The Telling Stone (Booklist top Ten Fantasy/SciFi for Youth) that combines, Celtic myth, shapeshifters and a secret code in a coming of age story, and the YA historical, Between Before and After (Blink/HarperCollins 2/5/2019). She lives with her husband in WA State and spends her time between the Columbia River and the Puget Sound and traveling to where ever life's next real life mystery make take her.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This YA Historical novel was great it was a blend of the 1950s and 1910s and followed a mother and her daughter on the path of discovery, relationships, and more. This is for older teens as this covers abortion in that time period.  I liked the two POVs and I thought it was interesting that the mother was the before and the daughter was after. That usually is the other way around.  I have to say that the easiest way to explain this title would be that it was a journey.  If you love historical fiction then check this one out.  






Go Into This One Knowing: Irish Immigrants, Sex before marriage, Abortion 







A beautifully layered story of secrets, hope, and change. This gem of a novel has all the hallmarks of a classic. (Megan Chance, bestselling, critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the Fianna Trilogy)

Maureen's flowing prose pulls the reader in closely to the harsh realities of life for children in 1918 New York City, but also conveys the strength of a sister's love for her brother when everything dear to them is ripped away. The dual narratives of Molly and Elaine grip the reader in a crescendo of suspense that pays off like a favorite fairy tale. (Mary Cronk Farrell, award-winning author of Pure Grit and the upcoming Standing Up Against Hate)

This coming-of-age novel about a mother and daughter delves into the complex nature of relationships with an earnest voice and vivid details. Highly recommended! (Stephanie Morrill, author of The Lost Girl of Astor Street and Within These Lines)

In Between Before and After, Maureen McQuerry weaves two equally captivating storylines into a seamless and moving tale of a daughter's search for her mother's truth. There's no better way to say it than this--I loved this book! (Suzanne Selfors, bestselling author of the Imaginary Veterinary series and the Wedgie & Gizmo series)

Between Before and After is that rare novel where you want to turn the pages quickly but must resist because you want to savor every word. McQuerry's richly rendered settings of New York City in 1918 during the flu pandemic and San Jose, California, in 1955 feature conflicted characters in challenging real-life situations. An unforgettable read, start to finish. (Stephen Wallenfels, author of Bad Call (Disney/Hyperion) and Deadfall)

Elaine (Lainey) and Molly each have a story to tell in this dual perspective historical novel. One was orphaned in the years following World War I. The other is her daughter years later, who wants her mother to pay more attention to her and seeks to uncover her mother's secrets. In the middle of those two narratives is the story of Uncle Stephen, a Catholic school teacher, who prays for a boy with a tumor and it disappears--is Uncle Stephen a miracle worker? Lainey's tale begins in 1919, and Molly's perspective starts in 1955. McQuerry interweaves the folktale of 'Hansel and Gretel' throughout the plot. The identity of Uncle Stephen, and the nature of his 'miracle,' eventually paves the way for a surprise ending. While Catholicism has a major place in the story, it is not preachy or pushing for conversion. Chapter headings indicate who is narrating, which helps readers keep read track of the time period of each section. Teens will easily be engrossed in the lives and challenges of the protagonists as the novel progresses. The well-researched historical details help set the context of the tale. VERDICT A well-told story about family relationships and the importance of trust and truth-telling. A good choice for medium to large collections.and ndash;Jane Mouttet, Mesilla Valley Christian School, Las Cruces, NM (School Library Journal)

Morrill produces a historical novel that blends devastating true events with lifelike fictional characters as it brings history to life. (Booklist)









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