Before Ever After is the debut novel by Samantha Sotto. It is a love story that opens with the death in a bombing of one of the main characters, Max. Three years later we meet Shelley, his widow, who is still grieving his death.
Shelley opens the door to her London home to find Paolo, a young man who looks remarkably like Max. Paolo informs her that Max is his grandfather. Thus begins a strange and romantic odyssey. Could Paolo be a fraud, a fortune hunter? Max’s death has left Shelley extraordinarily wealthy. Is is possible that Max did not die in the bombing? Was Max some kind of con artist?
Actually none of that is true. Improbably, Max is immortal. This highly readable story takes us on a journey through history to learn the secret of Max’s immortality. Shelley met Max when she joined a tour of Europe that he was leading. The first stop on the tour was Pere Lachaise cemetery. This is most known to us as the Paris location where Jim Morrison is buried. But here we learn of the death of an almost unknown young woman. The tour takes us back through European history, to seemingly unrelated and unknown figures. The connection between all of these is the immortal Max.
Before Ever After weaves the present, the near past, and the very distant past. Sotto tells a compelling and oddly believable story. Overall it is a love story. If you are able to suspend disbelief, you will enjoy this book. If not, it will be just a load of hooey!
Published in hardcover-Crown-2011