Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
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Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.
Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows they should take healing steps together, but he’s tired of being shut out. For Zoe, it just seems easier to let grief lead the way.
A weekend in Paris might be their last hope for reconciliation, but mischance sees them separated before they’ve even left Gare du Nord. Lost and alone, Edward and Zoe must try to find their way back to each other—and find their way back to the people they were before.
But is that even possible?
At first I was torn about whether or not I wanted to request Who We Were Before on NetGalley. Emotionally-charged books are always on my radar, but some topics are hard for me to read, especially when they deal with cruelty to children, vulnerable people and animals. I also struggle with topics about losing a loved one to illness or accident, since it is something that I am unfortunately too familiar with. I don’t choose to read too many books like these as they usually leave me emotionally drained for a few days after I read them. But after some debating, I decided that it sounded like a book worth trying.
The first line totally punched me in the stomach, It was like that first drop on a rollecroaster – you know it’s coming, but it still catches you off-guard every time. As adults, we are often faced with baggage that we just can’t let go of, no matter how much we want to. We feel we deserve that pain and the guilt that this baggage gives us. When this involves the loss of a loved one, there is no “getting over it”. Ever. But when you are the cause of the loss or even believe that you are, the burden becomes unfathomable.
This is where the book begins. A child is gone and all the should-haves and could-haves will never change the outcome or bring them back. All you have is the heavy blanket of grief.
The author, Leah Mercer certainly knows how to use words to grab you by the heart and squeeze. Her writing is power-packed with raw emotion. As I sat in the living room reading, my fiance told me that I looked like I was about to cry. I probably was…
Who We Were Before is a story of grief. But, it is also about trying to learn to heal. It got inside my head and caused me to rethink some things. While I can’t tell you that this was an enjoyable read, I can say that I feel it was a necessary one. At least it was for me. I feel like it made me look at things a little differently . So, if you choose to read this one, be prepared to have a big dose of “the feels”. I think the author did a great job and I think you should give it a try.
I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I appreciate the opportunity to discover this book.