Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse

Goodreads Summary:

Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard.

But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the U.S. and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah’s certainty begin to crack. Why do Mark’s colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks?
Hannah begins to dig into her husband’s life, uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him or protect her . . 

Publication Date: January 21, 2014

Before We Met is a psychologically thriller about a wife who discovers her husband of eight months is not the man she thought she married. Mark has secrets and Hannah begins to unravel the lies he’s told from the start of their relationship.

I liked Hannah and I thought the author did a good job of painting a portrait of a wife desperately trying to make justifications for her husband’s deceptions. She loves Mark and tries to see the best in him, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. I thought her back story also shaped her character and I emphasized with her not wanting to turn into the same duped wife as her mother.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, especially when I couldn’t tell what direction the novel was going on. I wondered the same things as Hannah: Was Mark having an affair? Was he doing something illegal to keep his business afloat? The second half was good, but I felt like a lot of the suspense present in the first half diminished.

I’m starting to feel like publishers are beginning to use the phrase for “fans of Gone Girl” too loosely. Although it’s similar in the way that the author shows a marriage unraveling, it made me expect some major twist I would never see coming. I actually saw the ending coming a mile away and was hoping instead for a mind-blowing conclusion.

It is definitely a page-turner and I was eager to find out Mark’s secrets along with Hannah. I’d be curious to see the final copy to read a more polished version of the story. Although early editions are expected to have typos, there were so many errors that it made it unreadable at times.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


  1. Hmm....this sounds interesting. I love a good mystery and now I want to know what Mark is hiding! Great review. I'll check this one out.

  2. I think that's the first time I've ever heard you comment about readability, Heather. Ouch. This sounds like a plot where the author did too much foreshadowing. Sometimes, pantsing is the way to go when adding a supposed twist :) I haven't read Gone Girl so maybe I'll check that one out instead. Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!