Oct 17, 2011

Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

If I was to give a rating to this book after only reading a few pages, I would put it under my bathroom books. You know the ones I read only because I have no choice. But several pages later, this book is under my unputdownable (is there such a word) ones. I spent my whole Sunday reading this book and I was completely useless that whole day!

This is the story of Max and Shelley and it has a happy ending (or I would like to believe so).Max was killed after a bomb exploded in Madrid and for 3 years, Shelley was still mourning for him. Then Paolo, a 30-something guy, came to her doorstep with the news that he is Max's grandson. Together, they journey to discover who Max really was or is. Shelley and Max's story started when she quit her job and found this leaflet to join Max's tour and just went ahead with it. The unusual tour was through the unknown side of Europe (or maybe unknown to me) and through the life story of Isabelle and her ancestors. Looking back at the stories with Paolo, Shelley realized that Max was telling his life history! And yes, SPOILER ALERT, he is immortal. And why do I think that they lived happily ever after? Because I believe that their love (or Shelley's) was great and that it would have survived even death.

I love certain passages in the book and here are just a few:
On immortality:
Forever, Brad?" Shelley said. Dont get me wrong. I dont enjoy getting wrinkles but I imagine that living forever would be like being the last person at a party-and then watching the room fill up again with people you dont know, playing music you
cant stand. You wouldnt have anyone left to remember the good old days with.

On grieving:

Why aren't you crying Rose? Its rake you a lifetime to find Jonathan and yet now that youve lost him, you have no tears? No, Im not in shock dear. I know that Jonathan;s gone. I do miss him. I cant even say his name without dying a little. But to be honest, I havent cried because Ive had no reason to. I have every reason to be sad, but I dont have any reason to mourn. People grieve when things end. Nothing has ended tonight. One of us has simply gone ahead as we always knew it would have to be. But there is no place that Jonathan can go... Where you cant follow. Yes, in time.
On love and pain:
I know that there is no magic potion to preserve my life or Sheila's. And I know that the time will come when her voice wont be as crystal clear in my head. But even when every detail has dulled, I know that I'll always have something that not even time can take away. Pain. Yes because when Ive forgotten everything else, I'll feel that ache, the tightness in my throat, that heaviness in my chest, and I know that I loved a woman once and she loved me back. Its proof that I existed and so did she.
on death:
Death is never swift, no matter how those left behind would like to comfort themselves with the thought.
Love it! Thanks Bunny for letting me borrow your book!

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