Before, During, After

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Natasha Barrett meets Father Michael Faulk at a benefit dinner. She’s unwilling to make small talk, but finds herself drawn into the conversation. Despite her reservations, he charms her, and the two fall in love. They decide to get married, but Natasha has planned a trip to Jamaica and Faulk plans to attend a wedding in New York City on September 11. When tragedy strikes, Faulk survives, but can’t reach Natasha. Terror-stricken and fearing the worst, Natasha handles the news badly and suffers for her lapse in judgment. They eventually make it home safely, but Natasha’s secret erodes their happiness. How will they return to life as it was before September 11?

Bausch adeptly depicts the mood of the country post-9/11, the surprise of the attacks and the feeling of being besieged from all sides by unnamed terrors. In describing Faulk’s trip home, Bausch captures the way each interaction in the hours afterward was fraught with significance, pressed in amber, and indelibly lodged in our memories. I had less success relating to Natasha and engaging in the storyline of her love affair with Faulk. Both characters were hard to love. I was entranced by the mood of the book but bored by the plot.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2014-Aug-12
ISBN 9780307266262 Buy this Book
Issue December 2014
Category Modern Literature


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