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Literary Friday: Before Ever After

Friday, November 18, 2011


This week I read Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto.  My sweet bloggy friend, Diane @ Diane Writes recommended it a few weeks ago in this post.  I am so happy I read this it because of the book's unique premise.

The video teaser for this book was so well done.  It does an excellent job of summarizing the basic plot.

Warning:  If you did not view the video, the remainder of this post will not make sense to you.

We do not have the opportunity to learn about Max and Shelley's love story in real time;  we are told their story in flashback.  I think Sotto was brilliant in retelling their story in this way because it allows Shelley to recall Max's melancholy and its possible source as Paolo and Shelley look for clues in stories Max shared with his tourists during The Slight Detour.  

A flier for The Slight Detour reads:

Not for the prissy or the daft.

Nutters most welcome.

Good fun and excellent egg breakfasts included.

I loved everything about the quirky Slight Detour.  One would never find the stories Max shares in any history book.  I kept thinking while reading it how much I would love to travel through time and witness my ancestors, their joys, and their sorrows.  I must mention that Samantha Sotto is a huge Dr. Who and David Tenant fan which is a good enough reason to read her books in my opinion!

I must say that I loved the history in this book.  I enjoyed the chapter about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79 best.  I also liked the myth and incarnation of a very creepy, sociopathic immortal who seems to threaten Max.  This book has plenty of suspense, chickens, and eggs! Max's unhealthy obsession with chickens and eggs is a major plot point, and as Shelley recalls scenes from their tour, the obsession begins to make sense.  I just wish I had Max's world-famous recipe for baked eggs and cheese!

Before Ever After was such a pleasure to read.  It is not a romance, but it is romantic.  It also has history, suspense, drama, magical realism, and a nail-biting ending.  Shelley's grief over Max is so palpable; I was truly rooting for her to find the answers.  I suggest you find this book, make a hot cup of jasmine tea, and relax and read.

You can see Shelley's scrapbook from the tour on Samantha Sotto's website here.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Well this sounds interesting and a bit confusing. I loved the video piece...really makes you want to know more!

  2. That looks like a great book. Added to my Amazon wish list.

  3. video wouldn't play so I have no comment on that sorry but i must say it sounds interesting and I love the look of the book,

  4. Dear Ricki Jill,
    I just wanted to take a moment to wish youa nd your family a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. May the day be blessed,

  5. I would love to read this, too! What a beautiful book! I hope you're doing the book linky tomorrow with your friend! I have a review ready! Hugs! ♥

  6. I am now busy trying to catch up with all my favourite blogs now the olive harvest is complete. You sound a little happier in your recent posts which is pleasing, I hope that means life is a little calmer.
    I thought you had been reading a very old book when I first looked at this post, what a clever cover.

  7. I loved the video teaser!!
    It sounds like a book I would really like.
    I need to keep a list of the books you recommend to me!!

  8. Ricki!!! Thanks for the mention and loving the work of a fellow Filipina, Samantha Sotto. Now I know, I can really recommend good books. Wishing you a great week ahead!

  9. Thank you for the lovely review, Ricki! :) You've made my day!

  10. I am so sad to discover that you have stopped your what we're reading link up party. Still looking forward to all the wonderful books you read. But wish you hadn't stopped the party.



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Hello, Lovelies!

I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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