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What I Had Before I Had You (Hardcover)

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    Staff Reviews


    Perhaps I have a weakness for coming-of-age stories and novels that grapple with mental illness (this book is both), but I was truly impressed with Cornwell's debut, which centers on a mother and a daughter and the ways that mental illness has had an impact on them through generations. You're reading, you're enthralled by the story and the characters and the Jersey Shore in the summer, and sprinkled throughout are these wonderful sentences that make you stop, simple yet resonant like the clear ping of crystal stemware. It reminded me a bit of Simon Van Booy, and I don't think I've seen as strong and solid of a debut since Emily St. John Mandel.

    — From Emily

    Perhaps I have a weakness for coming-of-age stories and novels that grapple with mental illness (this book is both), but I was truly impressed with Cornwell's debut, which centers on a mother and a daughter and the ways that mental illness has had an impact on them through generations. You're reading, you're enthralled by the story and the characters and the Jersey Shore in the summer, and sprinkled throughout are these wonderful sentences that make you stop, simple yet resonant like the clear ping of crystal stemware. It reminded me a bit of Simon Van Booy, and I don't think I've seen as strong and solid of a debut since Emily St. John Mandel.

    — From Emily

    Description


    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's search for him sparks tender and painful memories of her past--of her fiercely loving and secretive mother, Myla, an erratic and beautiful psychic, and the discovery of heartbreaking secrets that shattered her world.

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780062237842
    ISBN-10: 0062237845
    Publisher: Harper
    Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
    Pages: 278
    Language: English