Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of women who have known each another since they were girls. They’ve faced everything together, from youthful sprees and scrapes to mid-life turning points. Now, as Anna, the group’s trailblazer and brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they’ve always done—talk and laugh and help each other make choices and plans, this time in Anna’s rural Massachusetts home. Helen, Anna’s best friend and a celebrated painter, is about to remarry. The others face their own challenges—Caroline with her sister’s mental health crisis; Molly with a teenage daughter’s rebellion; Ming with her law practice—dilemmas with kids and work and love. Before Everything is as funny as it is bittersweet, as the friends revel in the hilarious mistakes they’ve seen each another through, the secrets kept, and adventures shared. But now all sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives together takes on new meaning. The novel offers a brilliant, emotionally charged portrait, deftly conveying the sweep of time over everyday lives, and showing how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold. Above all it is an ode to friendship, and to how one person shapes the journeys of those around her.
This book was sort of blah for me. I was really surprised it hit me this way. This type of book is usually right in my wheelhouse. It started pretty depressing to begin with. Then the characters were completely disconnected to each other and the reader. I was shocked with the pettiness some of the characters showed. I mean…one of their best friends is dying and they are wondering why they are not liked by the other women in the group. Come on…what’s important here! I did eventually bail on the book. I gave it a good ole college try. I made it through a quarter of the book before I decided it wasn’t for me. I usually don’t post bad reviews because the author works very hard to put a book out in the world. And this is just MY OPINION.
I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.