• Review: The Story of Before by Susan Stairs

    The Story of Before centres around a young girl named Ruth and her family. Ruth notices things, she sees and feels the little things that the others miss. From the outcome of a tv programme to what they'll be having for dessert that evening, Ruth can see them coming. She can predict them so accurately her brother and sister declare that she must be psychic. Ruth doesn't believe them, she just can't understand how they don't see the clues for themselves. It all begins as Ruth and her family move into a new home immediately following the birth of her new baby brother. It's New Year's Eve and as the snow blankets the street in white Ruth knows something bad will happen this year, something really bad. Something that will break time itself into the before and the after and this is the story of the before.

    This story takes you by the hand and pulls you gently but relentlessly along, by the time you realise how immersed you have become it's too late, you have to know. Then you know. Out of the blue Stairs reveals the bad thing, not the who or the where or the why, but the what. This just serves to spur you on, to keep reading and let the words lead you away again. Until gradually it dawns, the who. Well before it's there in black and white you'll know, but because you don't want to be right and because you still need to know the how and the why you'll pick it back up and continue reading.

    It's been a very long time since I've been as compelled to continue to read a book as this one, not that I felt I had any choice in the matter. This story is much like the lazy river at the water park, once you kick off from the side that's it, gentle, smooth and unrelenting, you're going where it wants you to and it won't let you off until you've reached the end. Even though it's fiction and the Walton's aren't on tv anymore, it could be real, it could happen and that feeling stays with you long after you've returned it to the shelf.

    Five stars.


    The Story of Before by Susan Stairs
    Click here to buy from Amazon