Recent Read- Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

First Line:

The memory goes like this: Ollie’s got the ball and he’s running across my yard and my Dad comes out of nowhere, soft tackles him to the ground.

Goodreads Blurb:

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?

My Rating:


My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book. It’s only 161 pages and it’s a novel in verse so it went really quickly. I read it all in just a couple of hours with interruptions.

I lost count of how many times I cried while reading this book. The main character’s father is having memory and functioning issues much like those my late husband experienced while he was dying from brain cancer. And watching the same things my Jason experienced, and the things we would have experienced if he had lived longer, just tore my heart out over and over.  This was especially the case when things occurred that have literally haunted my nightmares. 

I don’t like sports, but even all of the football talk wasn’t enough to take away from how beautiful and heart wrenching this story and all of the words were.

Jacqueline Woodson is quickly becoming a favorite author for me.

2 thoughts on “Recent Read- Before the Ever After

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