The Space Between Before and After

By Jean Reynolds Page
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061452185, 416pp.)

Publication Date: May 2008

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Description

Forty-two and divorced, Holli Templeton has just begun to realize the pleasures of owning her life for the first time. But the experience is short-lived. Her son Conner has unexpectedly fled college in Rhode Island and moved to Texas with his troubled girlfriend, Kilian. This alone is difficult to handle, but as Holli begins to understand the depth of the girl's problems, concern turns to crisis.

Conner's situation is worsening, and as if that's not enough, Holli notices signs of serious decline in the beloved Texas grandmother who raised her. She has no choice but to leave the comfort zone of life in New York and return to her hometown in Texas to care for the people she loves.

In the tight space between these two generations, Holli initially feels lost. The journey back stirs so many unresolved hurts from her childhood. But something else happens in this uneasy homecoming. Comfort arrives in the ethereal presence of the mother long lost to her, and Holli is surprised to find that as she struggles to help her son and grandmother, the wounds of her own past begin to heal.

The space between before and after—easily the most challenging place she has ever known—begins to reveal an unanticipated hope for what the future might hold.




About the Author

Jean Reynolds Page lives with her husband and three children in Wisconsin.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Kilian, a young woman living with cystic fibrosis, is a central character in the novel. In what ways does learning of this condition alter Holli's response to her son's relationship with Kilian? How would you react if your child became involved with someone living with a serious medical condition?




Praise For The Space Between Before and After

“Page portrays these past and present emotional quagmires with an acutely intuitive eye, drawing the reader into the complicated lives of her sympathetic characters.”
-Booklist

“[A] complex, multi-layered book. [Page] seamlessly navigates the book’s intertwining narratives and presents believable characters, at once imperfect and utterly sympathetic. Both the story’s emotional pull and intricate plot twists are sure to seduce new readers.”
-Publishers Weekly

“A complex, well-orchestrated family drama.”
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“A very character-driven novel. [...] Each one of Page’s creations is a rounded and complex person you can sympathize and easily connect with. As a result, [The Space Between Before and After] is a touching, sometimes heart-wrenching, read.
-BookBitch.com

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