Saturday 9 November 2013

Before I Met You

Finished November 9
Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell

This lovely novel had me completely enraptured. Liz moves to the island of Guernsey at the age of ten with her mother, Alison, and stepfather, Jolylon, to live with her stepfather's mother, Arlette, and becomes Betty. Betty is very close to her grandmother, a woman who loves clothes and stylish things. When Arlette has a stroke and the develops Alzheimer's, Betty's parents can't cope and move out, but Betty stays, becoming Arlette's caregiver for several years. Upon Arlette's death, the will mentions a beneficiary none of the family have ever heard of, Clara Pickle, and Betty sets off to London on a search that will take her places she never imagined.
The story goes back and forth between Betty's search for Arlette's story and Clara, and Arlette's story in the years from 1919 to 1921 in London. Arlette's London is a London of fashion, music, parties, art, and love. From Liberty's to jazz clubs, parties with black jazz musicians, sitting for portraits, living a life full of happiness to heartbreak and tragedy, this is a life you won't forget. And Betty too, finds a life in London, from working in a burger joint, to mixing with rock stars, antique dealers, and others looking to make a life for themselves.
This is a story of London, of a particular bubble of time in the years just after World War I, and of learning the stories of those we love. A wonderful story.


  1. Hi Shonna. Sorry to drop in unannounced but I would like you to consider reviewing my book and I am open to participating in guest posting and interviews. Whatever!!!

    I am the author of a mystery series set on the east coast of Canada. The second book in the series, The Body on the T, was published earlier this year by Baico Publishing. It has just been released as an e-book on and

    Here is the Amazon link:

    I can provide an ebook or print copy if you give me your mailing address.

    Thank you.

    Mike Martin
    Author of The Body on the T
    "The Body on the T is a good summer read."
    Hamilton Spectator

  2. Thanks Mike. I always like to start at the beginning of a series, and have just put a hold on your first book which we have in our library collection. I'll be in touch