Yet again, being the disorganised person I am, I’m writing this on the day it should be published. Oops! I’m just going to use the fact I’m moving house as my excuse for everything at the moment. It’s taking longer than I thought – there’s just so much to do! I did manage to read this book in time, though!
Today I’m going to review Before You Were Mine by Em Muslim as part of the blog tour organised by the lovely Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours. She’s doing such an amazing job (she has tours scheduled for months! What?! I don’t plan a day in advance at the moment!) so go and give her some love!
Sometimes hope has a way of changing everything…
Just hours after giving birth, Eli Bell is forced to give up her newborn baby daughter for adoption. Devastated, she tries desperately to rebuild her shattered life.
Then, over thirty years later, Eli catches sight of her daughter. And she knows that she must do everything to find a way back into her life. Even if it means lying…
While her husband Tommy must grow to accept his own part in the events of her early life, he can only try to save her before her obsession with the young woman ruins them both.
Before You Were Mine by Em Muslin: Review
This book is unlike anything I’ve read in a while. The story follows Eli, a lady who mysteriously fell pregnant at the age of 14 and is ridiculed practically for the rest of her life. We don’t find out till almost the very end how she got pregnant at such a young age. When Eli had the baby, she was taken away from her before she’d even heard her first breath. For the rest of her adult life, Eli is desperate to find out who her daughter is, often mistaking random women for her and becoming obsessed with the idea that they could be mother and daughter.
I didn’t know what to expect after reading the blurb, but I definitely didn’t expect anything that happened! The story started off quite slow – if you’re not a fan of a slow burner, this might not be for you – but I promise, stick with it and it’s worth it! But as the story progressed, there were more and more twists and turns that I didn’t predict once. The last 30% or so raced and I loved it. I couldn’t stop reading. At one point, I actually said “No!!” and “What are you doing?!” out loud. 😀
The Writing Style
The book switched between perspectives quite often, but not like other multiple-perspective books I’ve read. This was different. The perspectives switched between following Eli in third person, her view in first person, and the POV of her husband Tommy. Sometimes it was a little confusing because there was often not a break to indicate it was about to change. I had to go back and read the last few lines to figure out where the switch happened. However, I think this was down to the formatting of the book (the book was a PDF which automatically converted into a MOBI on my Kindle).
When the story was told from Eli’s first person POV, it was written in the way she speaks. I could imagine her accent and it really gave it a great sense of location and setting. I really liked reading the story from the third person, but having brief moments where I could really understand how Eli felt and her thought process behind everything she did.
I got so invested in Eli’s story that I read the book in only a couple of sittings. When I had about 30% left, I thought I’d read a bit before bed and finish it the next day – but I ended up reading until 1am and finishing it. It definitely is a slow burner that takes a while to get into, but if you stick with it, you won’t want to stop! The story races and there are so many plot twists that I didn’t see coming.
If you love a story full of real, human emotion and shocking, unexpected twists, this is the book for you!
Click the links below to buy a copy of BEFORE YOU WERE MINE, or read about it on Goodreads. It’s only £1.99 to buy the eBook on Amazon!
About the Author
Em Muslin has worked in the film and television industry for over 20 years. She first fell in love with reading and writing after experiencing Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. She hasn’t stopped devouring books ever since.
She loves words that capture an experience or emotion in a singular form: her current favourite, describing herself, is nemophilist.
Em’s writing career has included developing a script for a stage musical with Tina Turner, and writing a bitter-sweet comedy screenplay, Last Chance Saloon.
Em’s writing focuses on the texture of domestic life, relationships, family and the pressures of social convention. Her characters are often fighting to become the hero of their own story, searching for hope, despite the adversities that life inevitably brings.
Want to win a £10 or $10 gift card to spend on Amazon? There’s a giveaway as part of this blog tour and you could win it to spend on anything you like! (Maybe buy this book?) Just click here to enter. 🙂