Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Genre: Fiction
558 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made―though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself―or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.


I think the worst thing that can happen to any parent is the loss of a child.  The emotional domino effect can bring down even the strongest…with feelings such as guilt, blame, “what-ifs”, depression…Some people pull away from their families completely.  Others deal with grief in whatever ways will make them emotionally numb. 

You’re hit with the heartbreaking news right in the first chapter of this novel.  At that point, I thought to myself that if this book was going to be depressing, and in order to avoid all the tears, I should just give up before moving to chapter 2.

I didn’t give up and I’m glad I continued reading it.

Maggie seems to have succeeded in building a new life for herself.  She likes her job, working as a makeup artist at a well established spa.  She has friends (although only one knows about her past life).  She loves her pets: 2 cats and 1 dog.

Yeah, Maggie's life is good...but is she happy? Or is she just surviving?

Once people from her past start showing up in her "perfect" Vermont town, Maggie's life is shaken, and a river of emotions surface.  Add to this, the developing story of a troubled teenager, son of a co-worker, someone she considers a friend, and all of a sudden, the thing she treasures the most, CONTROL, becomes non-existent in her life.

This book reminds us that even through sadness and grief, we cannot carry the past with us.  Life moves on.  And we need to learn to cherish the happy memories, because memories, are all we really have left.

"When we lose someone we love, we can either die with them or live on to celebrate their life."

Yes, the story was emotional (no way of escaping that), but it was also humorous.  The characters were enjoyable, which made it even easier to read.  They were also so real, with flaws, not picture-perfect.

And the cover!  Oh my!  It took me a while to figure out that it was make-up!  The fact that it represents the making/creation of a new person when we’re hiding away from the past…Brilliant!

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Thank you BookSparks and #SRC2018 for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks for sharing this information with us. It's very helpful for us.

    Trendy Mobiles Network

    1. Thank you for reading the review! I hope you have a chance to read the book :-)

  2. I am glad to see you liked it - I have this one on my cloud and just haven't gotten to it - shame on me.

  3. I think I will add this one to my TBR. Your review was great.

  4. loved your review and adding it to my tbr

  5. Great review, this is the first time I actually heard or seen this book and it looks and sounds absolutely an amazingly emotional book. I'm glad you fully enjoy this book, thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.


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