Friday, September 26, 2014

Between Before and After by Amanda Dick

Book Description

Five friends. Three days. One heart-stopping discovery. 

Three years ago, Danny Morris left behind a gun, a tonne of questions and a gaping hole in the lives of those who loved him. What he didn’t leave was a suicide note. 

On the anniversary of his death, his closest friends gather at his parents’ beach house in New Zealand's idyllic Marlborough Sounds. Danny’s girlfriend, Kate, holds fast to his memory by continuing to live in the house they shared. Struggling to move on with her life, her blossoming feelings for Danny’s best friend, Finn, only complicate matters. Withdrawing from his high-flying lifestyle, Max has carved out a much simpler life. Self-medicating with alcohol, fighting off nightmares he refuses to talk about, the memory of finding Danny’s body has him sailing dangerously close to the edge. While Finn is finally ready to address his feelings for Kate, trying to save Max from himself dredges up long-buried anger and frustration that threaten to overwhelm him. For Lacey and Gavin, a recent bereavement gives them a heart-wrenching insight of a different kind. 

Instead of time easing the pain, the group find themselves stuck in limbo, awaiting the understanding and peace that has so far eluded them. 

Three years ago a single bullet ricocheted through all their lives, but this year everything will change. 

** WARNING: Due to course language and subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 18+ ** 

First off this book starts off with a hard subject. If anyone has a hard time dealing with suicide be sure to read the book description and decide if it is right for you. This book is masterfully written, making you feel the desperation, pain, and helplessness at the very beginning. The cry for release bleeds off the pages and you want nothing more than to strip the gun from Danny's hand and lead him away to save him from his desperate act. This book is heartrendingly poignant and yet it is more.   

The book starts off with Danny Morris committing an act of desperation by taking his own life. It puts your mind and heart in a place that Kate, Fin, Max, Lacey and Gavin have been living for the past few years. These 5 friends have been meeting up at the beach house, owned by Danny's parents, every year on the anniversary of his death. They get together in the hopes of making sense of what happened, to cope with his death, to deal with the anger, and even some guilt, and to eventually heal the wound his being gone had left behind. It also became a way of keeping their friendship with each other close, especially when one of them seems to be slipping into a deep dark pit of despair and not asking for help, not letting his friends know he was in trouble... just like Danny. 

This trip each one of Danny's friends go on a journey of discovery. They discover secrets that are hard to swallow and some truths are revealed that are hard to take, but they also find new beginnings and hope, they only have to let go and reach for it. 

This is such a true to life story it makes your heart hurt for the characters. You feel each painful breath and each tearful moment. The times that made your heart sing, sang all the louder because it was the light shining on their lives that you was looking for. This was a wonderful work that I will be recommending. 

Meet the Author

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Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover. She also writes.

Born in Opotiki, New Zealand, she is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte. She has a passion for the colour green (particularly in clothes and gemstones) and insists there is nothing sexier than a man in a kilt.

She believes in love at first sight, women's intuition and following your heart.

She writes on her trusty laptop, predominantly late at night, when it’s quiet and interruptions are few. Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour – love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and relationships in general. She loves to put normal, everyday people into situations that will test their boundaries. She is passionately curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge.

After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, "Absolution", was released on 29 October 2013. She is currently working on her next novel, "Between Before and After".
*Taken from Goodreads Author Bio

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