Between Before & After
A mother being dragged ever deeper into the icy waters of depression. A daughter who finds a devastating secret about a shadowy past buried in her mom's dresser. And the key to unlocking a long-hidden family mystery that could save or destroy much more than their two lives.
Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents' failed marriage, but mostly about her mother Elaine's growing depression. Molly knows her mother, who shuts herself off from human connections and instead buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about, is nursing her own carefully-kept secret. But in Elaine's raw and fragile state, Molly knows not to pry too deeply.
Until her Uncle Stephen is thrust into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man and her mother can no longer hide behind other people's stories. 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 save or destroy their future.
Between Before and After is:
- A riveting YA story told in dual narratives during the flu epidemic in 1918 New York City and 1955 San Jose, California
- An historical coming-of-age novel about the complex bonds between mothers and daughters.
- Written by award-winning poet, novelist, and teacher Maureen McQuerry
- Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Laurie Halse Anderson
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About the Author
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
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
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
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
Morrill produces a historical novel that blends devastating true events with lifelike fictional characters as it brings history to life.--Booklist
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.--Jane Mouttet, Mesilla Valley Christian School, Las Cruces, NM--School Library Journal