Monday, April 19, 2021

Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton - OPTIONAL

Before I Saw You
by Emily Houghton
, 400 pages. Gallery Books, 2021. $17.

Language: R (221 swears, 42 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG



Alice, at 31yo, has been in control of her life and successful career for years now and doesn’t need anyone else -- until she nearly dies in a fire and finds herself in the hospital. After being in a car wreck, 28yo Alfie is on his way to recovery, bringing joy to the hospital ward that has become his temporary home even while he still struggles emotionally. Both Alice and Alfie have to make the tough decision to ignore their broken pieces or start the process of picking themselves back up.

Houghton skillfully addresses the emotional scarring that cannot be taken care of in a hospital as easily as our physical wounds -- scarring that might even be overlooked by those around us. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, and I love that Houghton illustrates different coping skills and encourages readers to build -- and be -- support systems for those around us, be they friends, family, or strangers you help through kindness. Story-wise, though, I feel that the ending was a let down. Alice and Alfie’s story was built up with compelling anticipation, and then I got to the last page and still looked for more because it felt incomplete. The mature content rating is for mentions of sex. 

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

No comments: