|Photo taken by Ms. C|
Sotto provides us with the story of a bereaved widow's quest to find the truth behind her late husband's life. Shelley, the widow, is told that her husband is alive and somehow seems immune to aging three years after his supposed death. The story is based on Shelley's recounts of how she met her husband on an European trip and his intimate knowledge of history during her flight halfway across the world in search of her late husband.
Sotto weaves an enchanting, supernatural, and ultimately uplifting tale. Her writing is engaging and captivating - I could not put this read down! At points Sotto was laugh-out-loud funny. Take for example:
"You might be surprised at how much happiness you can find in the pages of the shortest of love stories. Unlike penises, their length truly does not count," (Sotto, p. 145).
At other times, Sotto is able to be somberly (and powerfully) emotive:
"And I know that the time will come when her voice won't 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... I'll feel that ache.. that tightness in my throat... that heaviness in my chest... and know that I loved a woman once and she loved me back," (Sotto, p. 230).
While the book's premise is far-fetched - I am not one to eagerly read books with supernatural elements - her writing and character descriptions make Before Ever After an enjoyable escapist read. The plot twists and turns, has its ups and downs, and depicts what may happen while one strives to reach a 'happily ever after' akin to Disney stories.
Sotto, S. (2011). Before ever after: A novel. New York: Broadway Paperbacks.