When Zoe's husband Ed dies, her world caves in. But what if Zoe can get Ed back?
You find your soulmate . . .Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths - but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set . . .Then the unthinkable happens.One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now Zoe must find a way to survive. But she's not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they'd built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said.Now it's too late. Or is it?
Before You Go by Clare Swatman is published in hardback by Pan Macmillan on 9th February 2017 and is the author's debut novel.
Before You Go is an absolute delight. It's the sort of story that comes along every now and again and totally takes over your heart. With characters who ooze charisma, a plot that has a little touch of magic and is deftly plotted this is one of those books that I will be recommending for a long time to come.
The story starts with an ending, with tragedy and sadness as Zoe's husband Ed is killed in an accident on his way to work. Zoe is numb with grief, the reader sees her struggle through the funeral and neglect Ed's beloved garden. Until one day when Zoe's anger comes to a head, she attacks the weeds in the garden, slips and falls ..... and Zoe and Ed's story begins again.
Before You Go is a difficult book to write about. Too much information will give away the plot and to try to explain the timing would spoil any surprises. You will have to take my word for it that at times it is quite magical, and it is often heartbreaking, yet it's also an uplifting story. A story of life and death, and of the people in between, and those left behind.
Clare Swatman is an incredibly talented author, her story is wonderfully imagined, full of characters who are flawed, yet charming and incredibly lifelike. The intricacies of a modern relationship are examined closely, those little nuances and those huge events, the ones that can make or break a love affair. Zoe's feelings of utter helplessness, regret and determination to right her wrongs are brilliantly portrayed, and the reader begins to long for an alternative ending, just as much as Zoe does.
Before You Go is moving, thought provoking and beautifully observed. With themes of love, marriage, grief and memory that comes highly recommended from me.
Clare Swatman is a journalist for a number of weekly women's magazines. Before You Go is her first novel.
Clare was Features Editor for Bella and has written for Best, Woman's Own and Real People.
She currently writes for her local magazine as well as the travel pages for Take A Break and is working on her second novel, due to be published in 2018.
Clare lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two boys.
Follow her on Twitter @clareswatman