Before You Go by Clare Swatman

Review published on February 8, 2017.

This story starts with an ending, but is this ending just the beginning? This is the opener in the front of the book. Is it possible to change the past in order to have a different outcome in the future?

The story opens with Zoe attending her husband Ed’s funeral. He was knocked off his bicycle on the way to work one morning. Grief stricken, Zoe finds herself waking up back in 1993 as she is moving into a student house at the start of her degree and meeting Ed, one of her new housemates, for the first time. Zoe then wakes to a different stage of her life each time and begins to think she may be able to change the future as she is haunted by the events that led up to Ed’s death. When Ed had left on the morning of his death, they were on bad terms.

We move through various stages of their lives together, which include infertility, failed IVF and all the heart-breaking stresses surrounding these issues. This almost leads to the collapse of their marriage, despite their deep love for each other. Is it too late for Zoe to change events that happened along the way? Maybe this is her chance to change the course of their lives.

On first sight this book seemed an unlikely story and I didn’t think it would be my genre. However, it is beautifully and sensitively written. It is well paced and draws you in from the beginning. All the characters portrayed are likeable. I had to keep reading to the end to find out if the changes Zoe made on her journey would change the future.

This is Clare Swatman’s debut book and it is outstanding. The concept is imaginative and fresh. I look forward to reading her future books.

Carol Quaile 5/5

Before You Go by Clare Swatman
Macmillan 9781509824809 hbk Feb 2017

dir93 pbk?

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