Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky #bookreview #contemporary

Title: Before and Again

Author: Barbara Delinsky

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Page Count: 416

My rating:   2 stars

About the book:

From Barbara Delinsky, the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

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.

From a multimillion-selling master of women’s fiction, Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.

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One afternoon Mackenzie Cooper was driving her five year old daughter to a playdate when the unthinkable happened. Mackenzie had been glancing down at the GPS trying to find the home of her daughter’s friend when she accidentally runs a stop sign and a truck crashes into them. As if losing her daughter wasn’t punishment enough Mackenzie ends up splashed all over the media to be made an example.

Now on probation Mackenzie has changed her name to Maggie Reid and moved to Vermont to try to put her life back together. Losing her daughter, her marriage and friends Maggie takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist and the few new friends she’s made. When one of her friend’s son is accused of a crime Maggie risks breaking her probation to stand by her side  knowing what the media attention can do to someone.

Before and Again is honestly one of those books that I know it’s not a bad book at all but it’s just not a me book. This was my second book I’ve read by Barbara Delinsky and I really expected to enjoy it but this one was just so slow it could barely hold my attention and turned into a struggle to read.

When the story joins Maggie in her current life it seemed that way too much time was spent describing and drawing out things that didn’t progress the story. For example applying make up step by step by step. So while the idea of finding one’s self in the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy seemed appealing the book just moved too slowly for my taste.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

BARBARA DELINSKY is the author of more than twenty New York Times bestselling books. She has been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Delinsky earned a B.A. in psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in sociology at Boston College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, more books than she’ll ever be able to read, two tennis racquets, and enough electronic devices to keep in close touch with her children and their families.

Categories: Uncategorized

13 replies

    • You really can find some good ones out there that don’t go overboard which is why I keep trying. Plus I sometimes just need a break from the heavier thrillers and fantasy to give my brain a rest. LOL


  1. I agree with you 100% on this. I have read many of Barbara Delinsky’s books and LOVED them, but I found this one very slow and too much time spent on details that didn’t move the plot. I thought it was nice that she reconnected with her husband, mom and brother, but it seemed forced to me. I don’t know if my reading preferences changed or if this book was just not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Theresa, I really was wondering if it was just me or if I should avoid all of her books from now on. I really don’t remember the other I’d read being this bad with dragging things out so it made me wonder which would be more her normal style. To me this should have used that time to go deeper into the relationships and events than how to apply make up to prove she is good at it etc.


    • Haha and more than once…. I wanted to throw it across the room. It would be more entertaining to watch a youtube make up tutorial than those slow parts.


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