What I Had Before I Had You

What I Had Before I Had You

A Novel

eBook - 2014
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In What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell, a woman must face the truth about her past in this luminous, evocative literary novel of parents and children, guilt and forgiveness, memory and magical thinking, set in the faded, gritty world of the New Jersey Shore. Olivia was only fifteen the summer she left her hometown of Ocean Vista. Two decades later, on a visit with her children, her nine-year-old son Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, disappears. Olivia&́#x80;™s search for him sparks tender and painful memories of her past&́#x80;”of her fiercely loving and secretive mother, Myla, an erratic and beautiful psychic, and the discovery of heartbreaking secrets that shattered her world.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, HarperCollins,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062237866
Characteristics: 1 online resource (288 pages)


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Michael Colford Jul 13, 2014

Olivia returns to her childhood home of Ocean Vista on the Jersey shore for the first time since her rebellious adolescence. Now she has a teen-aged daughter of her own, as well as a son who struggles with bi-polar disorder. When a split second moment separates Olivia from her son and he can't be found, Olivia finds her memories spiraling back to her last summer in Ocean Vista; when she left her mother and discovered the truth about her family.

Sarah Cornwell is a talented writer. Her prose is eloquent and well-structured, as is her plot and pacing. Yet there was something missing from What I Had Before I Had You that kept me slightly emotionally distant. Something kept it from being a great book rather than a good book. My rating is a little harsh -- if half stars were allowed, this would be a 3 1/2 star book. As a story about family secrets and struggling with mental illness, Cornwell demonstrates that she knows her stuff.

Apr 09, 2014

As always, a good story and strong characters. Read the series in order for a better understanding of Kate.

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