Who We Were Before

Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Published 1 October 2016
266 pages
Prime Reading

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Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.

Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows they should take healing steps together, but he’s tired of being shut out. For Zoe, it just seems easier to let grief lead the way.

A weekend in Paris might be their last hope for reconciliation, but mischance sees them separated before they’ve even left Gare du Nord. Lost and alone, Edward and Zoe must try to find their way back to each other—and find their way back to the people they were before. But is that even possible?


People always say a child’s death is the worst thing a parent can suffer, but that’s not true. The worst thing is knowing your child died because of you.


I thought Who We Were Before was great. I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. Amazon has it listed as a mystery thriller but it’s not. I’d describe it as more general contemporary fiction. I thought Zoe and Edward were great characters; their grief over Milo’s death was very real and painful. The author does a great job of showing the effect of grief and guilt on them both. Zoe’s pain is worse because she blames herself for what happened and cruel words Edward says in a moment of grief haunt her. I love the way the novel is structured, moving between present and the past showing how they fell in love right up to the accident. I found Who We Were Before compelling, a page turned. I thought it was great and would recommend it.




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