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Before You Knew My Name


It’s hard to think of ways to convince people of a truly special book when all the things have been said, but this is absolutely one of the greats. Inspired by the author’s love of The Lovely Bones, this deals with the sadness of two women’s lives movingly and engagingly, and makes you really believe in the bond that joins them, despite one of them having been tragically murdered – and you do feel the tragedy, as we really get to know Alice, the victim, through her first-person flashbacks, and life has treated her pretty badly. You also feel for Ruby, who moves to New York as Alice did, although from Australia rather than America’s Midwest. Ruby keeps being dragged back into an unhealthy relationship despite trying to escape it by thousands of miles. And one day she comes across Alice’s body, and then Alice is spurring Ruby on to find her killer. It’s sad and gorgeous and wonderfully written.

Thalia Proctor