Monday, October 6, 2008

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page

Forty-two and divorced, Holli Templeton has just begun to realize the pleasures of owning her life for the first time. But the experience is short-lived. Her son Conner has unexpectedly fled college in Rhode Island and moved to Texas with his troubled girlfriend, Kilian. This alone is difficult to handle, but as Holli begins to understand the depth of the girl's problems, concern turns to crisis.

Conner's situation is worsening, and as if that's not enough, Holli notices signs of serious decline in the beloved Texas grandmother who raised her. She has no choice but to leave the comfort zone of life in New York and return to her hometown in Texas to care for the people she loves.

In the tight space between these two generations, Holli initially feels lost. The journey back stirs so many unresolved hurts from her childhood. But something else happens in this uneasy homecoming. Comfort arrives in the ethereal presence of the mother long lost to her, and Holli is surprised to find that as she struggles to help her son and grandmother, the wounds of her own past begin to heal.

The space between before and after--easily the most challenging place she has ever known--begins to reveal an unanticipated hope for what the future might hold.

This book is filled with layers, and as you read, the layers slowly peel back to reveal a wonderfully crafted family story.

Each of the chapters is told from a different character's point of view. I love this because you really get to see the whole story, not just one characters take on it.

Holli, the main character, tells her story from an adult point of view and Hollyanne, her childhood self, tells her story as she is growing up. This was a wonderful way to bring the past into the present story, as it played such an important role. Also, Hollyanne's chapters were so vividly written I found my heart breaking for her.

Jean Reynolds Page has also introduced an innovative new idea by providing a soundtrack for The Space Between Before and After. She has put together songs that either reflected, or helped shape, the characters in the book. You can read about Page's reasons for each of the songs here and can even purchase the entire soundtrack.

I love the soundtrack and enjoyed the additional insights into the characters. Music plays such an important part in people's lives that it is only fitting that characters have "their" songs too! 4 stars

Order The Space Between Before and After

1 comment:

Alea said...

I really like the idea of a soundtrack for a book. I'm seeing that more and more these days, especially in young adult novels.

PS Thanks for entering my giveaway!