May 15, 2008

The Space Between Before and After

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
Contemporary Fiction
2008 Avon (HarperCollins)
Quit on 5/12/08
Rating: DNF

Product Description

Forty-two and divorced, Holli Templeton has just begun to realize the pleasures of owning her life for the first time. But the experience is short-lived. Her son Conner has unexpectedly fled college in Rhode Island and moved to Texas with his troubled girlfriend, Kilian. This alone is difficult to handle, but as Holli begins to understand the depth of the girl's problems, concern turns to crisis.

Conner's situation is worsening, and as if that's not enough, Holli notices signs of serious decline in the beloved Texas grandmother who raised her. She has no choice but to leave the comfort zone of life in New York and return to her hometown in Texas to care for the people she loves.

In the tight space between these two generations, Holli initially feels lost. The journey back stirs so many unresolved hurts from her childhood. But something else happens in this uneasy homecoming. Comfort arrives in the ethereal presence of the mother long lost to her, and Holli is surprised to find that as she struggles to help her son and grandmother, the wounds of her own past begin to heal.

The space between before and after—easily the most challenging place she has ever known—begins to reveal an unanticipated hope for what the future might hold.

After 134 pages, I decided to call it quits on this novel. I found I simply wasn't interested in any of the characters and couldn't stay focused on the plot. But not to worry. I'm not in a slump. My current read is fabulous and I can't wait to get back to it. It's a lovely day and I'm heading out to the deck with my book, dog and a cocktail. It's five-o'clock somewhere! :)


  1. That's too bad. I recently gave up on a book over 100 pages in. I just wasn't interested and it wasn't worth it.

  2. Just gave up on a book myself. Glad to hear that the one you're reading now is good. Interesting title, tho.

  3. Well, they can't all be great reads, right? BTW, thinking of you this month - just so you know.

  4. I am glad to see there is someone else who feels OK with not finishing a book. So many times I come up against readers who feel that once they've started a book they MUST finish it no matter that. I say, there are too many books to be read to put myself through misery if I am reading something I'm not enjoying! Good for you for knowing then it's time to move on.

  5. Tara - It isn't worth it, but I always feel bad when I quit since I've already invested a chunk of time to get to that 100 pages. But, I suppose I'd feel even worse if I continued on with maybe another 200 pages only to be completely disappointed with the book!

    Booklogged - The book I was reading turned out to be pretty good. The title (Stone Creek) is the location.

    Stephanie - No, they sure can't.

    Thanks for the good thoughts this month. They're greatly appreciated. Hard to believe it'll be three years on Wednesday...

    Maudeen - I do feel ok about quitting a book, but it takes me a while to make that decision. I tend to hesitate, wondering if it might wind up being a great read if I can only get past the dull part. I used to feel like I had to finish everything I started, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to read everything I WANT to read, let alone the junk that I'm not enjoying.


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