Between Before and After

Between Before and After

by Maureen Doyle McQuerry


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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 Mc Querry
  • Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Laurie Halse Anderson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310767282
Publisher: Blink
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 506,303
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Maureen Mc Querry 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/Sci Fi 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/Harper Collins 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.

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Between Before and After 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Ms-Hurst More than 1 year ago
“Bury your past before it buried you.” That’s what Molly’s dad said to her mom before he left. Molly didn’t know what that meant but she meant to find out. As she tells the story, we go back and forth between Molly’s present, 1955, to her mom’s past in 1920. Her mother, Elaine, had a tough childhood, losing her mother and baby sister to the flu epidemic and being forced to steal and work to feed herself and her brother while their father drinks himself out of jobs and comes home less and less. Elaine begins working for a rich family and her life changes forever. I preferred the 1919-1920 storyline more than the 1955 and found myself reading more quickly to get back to it when it strayed away. It was a quick read overall, during part of a day stuck in a jury waiting room. What I thought I would find was not what I would find, as Molly’s uncle/Elaine’s brother Stephen explains to Molly. You don’t know where a story is really going until you takes the journey with it. At least you hope that is what you find and it is what I found here. Thanks to Maureen Doyle McQuerry, her publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this quiet gem.
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
BETWEEN BEFORE AND AFTER is a Time-Slip story set during a difficult time in history where a daughter faces some tough realities of life, and then at another time in history when life is a little simpler but where there are still prejudices and another daughter also faces her own difficulties. It reads more like a Women's Fiction story, and almost like reading a journal account of the prior time as the reader gets flashes and snippets of what happened in the past as the other storyline takes place. Those who love historical novels and memoirs, heavy on the hardships and historical aspects, may enjoy this one. The writing was very well done. I didn't have any issues following along or get confused about which time period I was in. The characters were also quite complex. There were some interesting lessons or questions that the story brought forward and I appreciated that the author didn't really tell the reader what to think, but presented them in a way that it just makes you think. I'll just honestly say that this was one of those stories that jarred me. I was expecting something completely different than what I got and it was hard to reconcile my expectations and the actual story. I also didn't particularly love any of the characters or even relate to them, although I did relate to some of the situations and one of the time periods. It's hard to read something like this that isn't necessarily pleasant to read in the first place, it be something you weren't expecting, and then not really like the characters. I also love Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and was expecting to really love this, but I just didn't see as many connections... or maybe it just lacked the sweet moments and characters I loved that Dickens brought to his story. In the end, was it what I wished for? If you love Women's Fiction, Memoirs or YA Historicals that are just telling the story of a woman and her daughter, then give this a try. It just wasn't for me. Content: Some references to abuse and pre-marital relations. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through JustReadTours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
Between Before and After by Maureen Doyle McQuerry, while written for youth, is equally enjoyable by adult readers. Fourteen year old Molly is a typical teenager concerned with many things, school, friends, and boys, but her biggest concern is her mother. Her mother, Eileen, is a writer and seemingly buried in writing but yet Molly knows she is drifting ever further away, at a time Molly needs her most. After her mother chops down the rose garden in their backyard, leaving it in complete shambles, Molly is determined to find out what secrets her mother carries. Finding the lock of hair hidden in her mother’s drawer, Molly becomes even more determined. Not only that she is certain that her Uncle Stephen knows much more than he lets on. Between Before and After flips back and forth between the earlier 1900’s and the “current” 1955, Molly’s time. As Molly continues her search, the story of her mother’s life is told in heart-rending clarity. A story Molly searches for but will never fully comprehend and remains hidden from her, and readers, until almost the very end of the novel. Only one other person understands and knows what happened in Eileen’s life and Uncle Stephen isn’t telling. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and JustRead Publicity Tours, and am not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own.
Reading_Bee More than 1 year ago
- A stunning YA novel about the bonds of family and the power of hope. - From the first sentence, this book captured my attention and drew me in, tugging my heart-strings and daring me to put it down. With gorgeous imagery, authentic historical detail, and overall amazing storytelling, Maureen McQuerry took me on a journey that I won’t soon forget! The split-time aspect was amazing—I enjoyed seeing the stories of Molly and Elaine side by side and watching as they paralleled each other. I also thought the Hansel and Gretel retelling side of this book was very intriguing! This book dealt with some really difficult topics, and my heart ached for the characters, especially for Elaine. But I also really connected with Molly—her love of writing and curiosity coupled with her sense of responsibility made for an incredibly endearing character, but it was the struggles both girls faced that shaped this story into the amazing book that it is! Abandonment, betrayal, loss, and secrets are woven throughout, but it is the hope found in the midst of all that, and the overcoming love of family that truly brought this story together. And the ending was great, if surprising!! ****Highly Recommended!!**** Note: There is a very small amount of more mature content in this book, but nothing graphic, so I would probably recommend it for 14+ I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
BuzzedonBooks More than 1 year ago
Between Before and After by Maureen Doyle McQuerry is one of those books that captivates you from the very beginning. I was a little hesitant going into this book as historical fiction is very much out of my comfort zone, but I was pleasantly surprised by McQuerry's beautiful writing style. She fantastically crafts a story of past and present, and of sorrow and love. I was shook by the end. Elaine, one of our protagonists, is growing up in early 20th century New York City. She struggles to keep her poor family from falling apart after her beloved mother dies from the Spanish flu. Through sorrow and grief Elaine remains to be one of the strongest YA protagonists that I have read about in a long time, and she will forever remain one of my favorites. Elaine's daughter Molly, our second protagonist, is growing up in San Jose, Califorfnia in the 1950s. She is crushed by her parents' recent, devastating divorce. Desperate to understand her distant, mysterious mother, she sets out to uncover some secrets about her past. As someone who had never read historical fiction in the past, I found this book engaging and highly entertaining. I found that the history elements woven in gave this book some richness and depth that most YA books do not have. Maureen McQuerry wove the two plot-lines and time periods beautifully. Overall I prefered Elaine's story over Molly's. Her struggles, including abuse, alcoholism, and poverty were so well developed and intriguing. I feel like her story was a little more put together than Molly's, but I still enjoyed Molly's story very much. Overall I would highly recommend this book. The writing is beautiful and the characters are very intriguing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in trying out historical fiction. You will not be disappointed. *I was sent this book by JustRead Publicity Tours and NetGallery in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
Now, I'm always interested in stories that connect different times in the past. Usually I like when they are related to more of major historical events, but this one had its own connections that definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering where it would all go, and how it would all connect. As we followed through the mother, Elaine's time period, there were so many things going on in her life that it kept me guessing and catching clues for paths to try to figure out just what the major secret she was hiding from her daughter was. I started to figure it out a bit, once we learned of the crush Elaine had, but how that all turned out wasn't the exact path I'd predicted in my head, and I love how an author can keep you guessing, and even when you start to figure it out, still have surprises left for you in the end! I liked how even though we had Molly's Uncle Stephen who was very religious, and then her mother who was not happy with god, all of that was done without seeming to force the reader to feel one way or the other. Definitely a great mystery and also a good family story. It was fun to read about a trip to the very first McDonald's in their town back in that time period and compare it to what the fast food restaurant is today. Now, I can't give a specific quote, in case anything changes in the final edition of the book, but there was one line or bit that I really, really liked. A part where one of the characters said that a good story isn't written to teach a lesson. Anything that the reader learns is through what they identify with in the story. Also they said something about there being something in the human heart that needs a story. I believe all of those things are true. At least for me, and the books that I read.
CLynnT More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction is a beautiful, sometimes painful way to learn and appreciate past eras that have shaped our country. This new book by Maureen Doyle McQuerry is perfect for young adults. It gives them a close-up look of a young girl’s life in New York, 1918 when the flu epidemic took so many. The story flashes back and forth between 1918 and 1955, when the child, Elaine is grown with a daughter of her own. Molly is consumed with the need to understand her mother’s melancholy moods. As she digs deeper into the fractured history of her mother’s life, she may not be prepared for what she learns. This is an enjoyable, realistic but not too dark reflection of the growing pains suffered by many in the evolution of a nation. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Blink for making it available.)
getlostinabook16 More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book; I am not required to leave a positive review. When I read the blurb for this book I immediately knew that I was going to have to read this one! There are some things I liked about this book and some things I didn’t like. I liked that questions start rising from the very first chapter. I think that Maureen has a gift for painting mental pictures through words, from characters, to places, to injuries; I could easily imagine the scene. I loved the time frame of the book. My absolute favorite thing about this book is, every chapter adds something to the story, and no chapter was wasted. I loved that every page left you wanting more. I loved the way the book ended. There are a few things I didn’t like. I picked this up thinking it would be a Christian book, but it wasn’t even close to Christian in my opinion. I saw it as a mainstream book with some Christian background to it. My reasons for this are because; there were a couple of curse words that the characters used three or four times throughout the book. It covered many dark topics such as teen pregnancy, affairs, abuse, and alcoholism. I could have overruled most of this if there was a stronger Christian message. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was very well written, especially with it being her first full length novel. I would have given it five stars if it were not for the language and the lack of a Christian message. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a very well written page turner.
AdventurousBookworm More than 1 year ago
I loved, loved, loved Ms. McQuerry's writing style. The split-time was handled in an incredible manner, with the end of each chapter being left in a cliffhanger. It made the novel difficult to put down. Many times throughout the story, an excerpt from Hansel and Gretel is used, adding character to the story as a whole. Despite everything that I loved, the content was mature enough that I cannot recommend this book to teens. There was a description of how abortion is performed and prematernal sex resulting in a child. There were also numerous comments scattered throughout the novel that were not appropriate. Personal Rating: 2 Stars Content Rating: 1 Star *I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required.
VWEIR01 More than 1 year ago
I liked Between Before and After, I just didn't love it. I feel like most of the story could've been told from Elaine's view in 1918 without missing much. Or that the 1952 story could still have been told from Elaine's view. I struggled with why the author chose Elaine's daughter, Molly, to tell that part of the story. I am not sure that her daughter's perspective added anything to the narrative but I would've loved to know what was happening in Elaine's mind, especially regarding the bit of plot twist at the end of the novel. I also didn't understand why Elaine hated religion, why her brother's "miracle" was included, or why Molly's friendship with Ari or her relationship with her father wasn't further explored. I would've loved to have the whole story set during the 1918 flu epidemic and learned more about Elaine's childhood. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, but it left me with more questions than answers. **Thank you to NetGalley for and ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.