Book Review: ‘Before Everything’ Is An Insightful, Satisfying Read

A group of lifetime friends gather together to confront life, love, and now mortality.

Author Victoria Redel is an accomplished writer with four books already published plus poetry and I have just finished her latest novel, ‘Before Everything.’ With the subject matter she writes about, death and end of life decisions, it is very difficult to achieve a balance that the reader can relate to. Anna is dying from a re-appearing cancer that is incurable. She has twice before gone into remission but she has had enough and wants hospice care at home. She has five lifelong friends that she holds in great regard and the feeling is mutual. They are shocked, upset, and very afraid there is no way their Anna is going to leave them.

Victoria Redel lets you into the minds and hearts of these great women, Helen, Ming, Caroline, Molly, and Anna, the leader of the group. Step by step, without rushing, you get a great story and watch over Anna as each of their stories are shared with you. Wonderful stories, from school all the way through courtships, marriage, divorce, and separation, it is a terrific read and you feel that you know all of these women, their families, and their lives.

Gradually, as the story nears its climax, the smiles and tears, and the letting go, is heartbreaking. Redel writes a wonderful story, very insightful, and filled with laughter and sadness. It all comes together neatly and is finished well. Highly recommended.

Now available in bookstores


Ann McDonald

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