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Before Everything

Before Everything by Victoria Redel
Hardcover
Jun 27, 2017 | 288 Pages
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    Jun 27, 2017 | 288 Pages

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    Jun 27, 2017 | 288 Pages

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Praise

“A gentle, rich tale of friendship and loss . . . Before Everything creates a tight, vivid world.”
The Seattle Times

“One of the most powerful tales of complex ever-evolving female friendship there is. . . . Everything Redel writes is brilliant but this is my favorite work by her.”
—Porochista Khakpour, LitHub

“Redel’s novel about longtime friends who come together to care for one of their own—and relive a lifetime of memories—proves why ‘before everything’ is where we ought to place friendship on the roster of the most soul-satisfying things.”
—Redbook

“The architecture of Redel’s often lyrical prose soars beyond ambition and signals the arrival of a true master. . . . A quiet yet revolutionary statement is at work in the warmth and depth of Redel’s pages about the not-so-subtle strength demanded of womanhood. The book lifts the veil on the power dynamics of female relationships—investigating the lasting power of allegiances of the heart. . . . We don’t simply look to fiction as a place to escape, but a place to admire, to learn. Here, we are afforded the pleasure of all three.”
—Annie DeWitt, Guernica

“Brings to mind Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, with its chorus of distinctive voices sharing private perceptions along with their sustained collective experience. . . . In lyrical prose, Redel interweaves Anna’s final days with echoes of the past.”
—Jane Ciabattari, BBC

“Redel has crafted a lyrical ode to female friendship, proving that bonds can somehow be made of iron and elastic, sometimes strong and sometimes frail. She fleshes out the five main characters admirably for such a short book, linking each of their most vulnerable memories to their shared crisis. Fans of Anne Tyler and Jennifer Close will adore this warmhearted and clear-eyed novel.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“A touching story of friendship and loss . . . richly realized. The result is an unflinching and affecting look at how one woman’s final days change the lives of those around her.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement. Thank you, Victoria Redel.”
—Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours
 
“Victoria Redel bears witness to a remarkable group of women, effortlessly weaving back and forth through time, each thread revealing the cracks and secrets of their complex lives, while also drawing them closer. . . . Redel proves that female friendship is the quiet, steady engine that truly runs the world.”
—Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

Before Everything is a riveting, timely story that explores the unsettlingly beautiful, emotionally charged landscape that is revealed when old friends embrace what they have never before admitted: the limits of mortality and the boundlessness of friendship.”
—Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

Before Everything turns on the grand themes, love and death. Redel’s elegant narration unfolds not in linear time but in the time of memory, moving among the friends to reveal their shifting connections, needs, and circumstances. At once tough and tender, funny and sad, this beautifully written novel articulates the dynamic realities of those wondrous friendships that last a lifetime.”
—Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blazing World

“I admire Victoria Redel’s work for so many reasons—for its fearlessness, its complexity, its beauty—and Before Everything is one of the most brilliant, radiant, and heartbreaking books I’ve read in years. Redel’s characters—fierce and funny, loyal and compassionate—feel as real and beloved as the people we hold dearest in our own lives. An extraordinary novel by one of the best writers we have.”
—Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

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