Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling
Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (November 8, 2022)
Category: General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family Secrets
Available in Print and ebook, 479 (or less) pages
Indie movie director Sebastian Foster has found his niche making movies based on the award-winning novels written by his estranged mother. However, his latest film, based loosely on the tragic death of his sister as a child, opens up old wounds best left under bandages.
Told in two concurrent timelines, now and when Sebastian was a teen, some twenty years ago in the mid-1990s, this story of learning unknown truths unwinds in the streets of Paris, where Sebastian lived as a teen and where he has returned to make his picture.
Guest Review by Sal
The moment I started reading this book, I knew that I was going to enjoy it. Jessica Stilling’s marvellously-plotted, emotion-packed novel, ‘Between Before and After,’ is the type of book that you can recommend to anyone, because it has a little something for everyone.
Set in Paris, this novel uses duel timelines to tell a story that leaves the reader guessing until you suddenly realize what exactly happened that night in 1994.
In current day, Sebastian Foster is a director, who mainly makes movies using the plots of his famous author mother’s novels. But in 1994, Bastian was just a 14-year-old kid who lived in a dingy apartment in Paris with his mother and little sister.
Moving to Paris from New York as a teenager, Bastian attempts to navigate a country where he doesn’t speak much of the language and eventually gets pulled into the seedy underground world of a prescription drug trade by a friend. Though he does not want to be involved at all, Bastian’s friend, Marcel, continues to pull him in, and, when their illegal activities are discovered, things become much more real than either of them could have anticipated.
Meanwhile, in the present, Sebastian attempts to direct a movie centering around the tragedy of his sister’s death in a fire during the summer of 1994. How do these two things link up? You’ll have to read the book to find out, and I recommend doing so.
This is one heck of a novel! I couldn’t put it down and read through it all in one night. Stilling’s evocative writing creates a world so vivid that I felt like I could reach out and touch it.
This book is about a young boy trying to find his place in the world, and a man who is still trying to recover from a terrible tragedy, and both are the same character. Five stars for this wonderful story!
About the Author
Jessica Stilling has written three works of literary fiction, Betwixt and Between, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, and The Weary God of Ancient Travelers. She also wrote poetry and short fiction for various literary journals.
Her articles have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Bust Magazine and she writes extensively for The Writer Magazine. She has taught Creative Writing in both high school and university. She also publishes young adult fantasy under the pen name JM Stephen.
Jessica loves Virginia Woolf, very long walks, and currently lives in southern Vermont where she writes for the very local newspaper, The Deerfield Valley News.
This giveaway is for 3 print or ebook copies. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 24, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 1 Kickoff & Interview
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Bee Book Pleasures Nov 23 Review
Praise For Jessica Stilling
Bronx Council of the Arts Chapter One Award for The Beekeeper’s Daughter
“Stilling’s take on this familiar tale is provocative and poignant, rich with emotion and powerfully described, laced with profound contemplation about dying too soon and growing up too quickly.”- Publisher’s Weekly review of Betwixt and Between
“At turns happy and unbearably sad, Betwixt and Between is a beautifully realized re-imagining of a classic story that will enchant readers as the original did.”- Booklist starred review of Betwixt and Between
“A suspenseful read. Jessica Stilling sets the story among a backdrop of stunning scenes of Greece described as being almost visceral with a unique compilation of romance, mystery, and self-inspection. A compelling story that comes to life off the page.”-San Francisco Book Review of the Weary God of Ancient Travelers