GOING HOME AGAIN — A Review of “The Space Between Before and After”

What happens to a woman’s life when she is suddenly pulled into the drama of her young adult son’s problems?

Holli Templeton had just begun carving out her own independent life after her divorce from Harrison, when she receives word that their son Conner, who left school without an explanation, has moved with his girlfriend to Texas. The two of them have set up a household behind Holli’s grandmother’s home, where Holli grew up. Determined to help him sort things out, Holli plans to return home; then she talks to her ex-husband, who agrees to go with her.

But before the two even set out on their journey, additional layers of drama unfold to complicate the whole situation. First of all, they discover that Conner’s girlfriend Kilian has Cystic Fibrosis—and then an additional health issue presents itself. Meanwhile, Holli’s grandmother Raine begins showing signs of disorientation and confusion.

Sandwiched as she is between the two generations, Holli is suddenly confronted with memories of the past—her confused and confusing childhood, the neglect she sustained at the hands of her father, and her mother’s death. Secrets from these past traumas insert themselves into her present-day dilemmas, creating unforeseen challenges.

How will Holli face up to each crisis, and how will she finally put to rest the issues from the past? Will Conner and Kilian stay together or separate? What will happen to Holli and Harrison as they work together as a team?

The Space Between Before and After is a multilayered family drama that offers insight into the nature of understanding, forgiveness, and the healing power of the passage of time.

The author skillfully weaves the story between the past and present, in alternating chapters; as each point of view is offered, we catch a glimpse of Conner, Holli (in the present) and Hollyanne (the childhood self). Our understanding is enhanced by these shifting perspectives.

Five stars.

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