Before We Were Strangers: A Review

I’ve been an avid Brenda Novak fan for years. This is her latest offering.



FROM AMAZON: Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she’s determined to uncover her family’s dark secrets, even if they bury her.

Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound—the ominous thump before all went quiet.


In the morning, her mother was gone.


The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn’t just difficult—he was deadly.


Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend, and a father and brother who’d rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn’t whether she can uncover what really happened that night…it’s what will remain of her family if she does?


MY REVIEW: (5 STARS) This is classic Novak. A solid mystery, a female-driven plot, and plenty of twisty turns.

Sloane is determined to find out what happened to her mother, no matter the cost. As she delves into the mystery, she reconnects with the man who was her high school sweetheart and the woman who used to be her best friend.

And so begins the many-layered tale from master storyteller Brenda Novak.

This book grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I was up until three a.m., when I finally finished the last page.

If you’re wanting a gripping mystery with a second-chance romance subplot, this is the book for you. 5 full stars.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Join Brenda Novak’s Online Book Group on Facebook–http://www.facebook.com/groups/brendanovaksbookgroup/. They’re currently reading HER DEADLY SECRETS by Laura Griffin. Get an autographed copy in one of Brenda’s popular Brenda Novak Book Boxes: http://www.brendanovak.com/store/

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s career as a bestselling author–she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.


“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including eight Rita nominations, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Book Seller’s Best, the Silver Bullet and the National Reader’s Choice Award.


Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children–three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising funds for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). So far, Brenda has raised $2.6 million! 
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