About Books #133: Before We Grow Old

Guess who isn’t dead? Yes, I’m aware that it’s been about a year and a half since I’ve written anything on this blog. In my defence: I changed jobs, got hit over the head with a gazillion different crises, and all in all hardly had the energy or time to breathe, let alone read. Slowly but surely, though, I can feel things finally turning around – so here’s this year’s first (and hopefully not last) About Books!

I was offered an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

The story

When seven-year-old Fran first met Will they knew instantly that they were made for each other. For eleven years they were inseparable, but then, at the age of eighteen, Will just upped and disappeared.

Twenty-five years later Will is back.

Is fate trying to give them a second chance?

Still nursing the heart break from all those years ago, Fran is reluctant to give Will the time of day. The price Will must pay is to tell the truth – the truth about why he left, the truth about why he’s back…

And Fran has her own secrets to hide. The time has come to decide what Fran and Will really want from life – before it’s too late.

The opinion

Most stories start with the meet-cute, lead up to the conflict, and finish off with the happy ending. Not this one, though. Here, the supposed happy ending arrives a fifth of the way in. What happens afterwards, is the longest goodbye I’ve ever read.

However, what “Before We Grow Old” did not do, was make this goodbye all about the sadness that comes with it. Rather, it showed both the brutal-ness and the beauty of life, the way death happens not just to the person dying, but also to those surrounding them – and mainly: how every choice you make may be the right one, and yet still not work out… All in all, this was a beautiful book, that truly left me speechless and reluctant though I may be to admit it.- with actual tears in my eyes.

The rating: 4,5/5

“Before We Grow Old” firmly settled itself as one of my favourite reads in the month of August and, actually, of everything I’ve read so far. This book will definitely have you feeling *all the things* so proceed with caution – and a handkerchief! (Goodreads)


PS: Need more recommendations? Read my other book reviews?

About Books - Book reviews: Before we Grow Old - Clare Swatman