What I Had Before I Had You
30%
off

What I Had Before I Had You

3.48 (1,893 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

In What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell, a woman must face the truth about her past in this luminous, evocative literary novel of parents and children, guilt and forgiveness, memory and magical thinking, set in the faded, gritty world of the New Jersey Shore.

Olivia was only fifteen the summer she left her hometown of Ocean Vista. Two decades later, on a visit with her children, her nine-year-old son Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, disappears. Olivia's search for him sparks tender and painful memories of her past--of her fiercely loving and secretive mother, Myla, an erratic and beautiful psychic, and the discovery of heartbreaking secrets that shattered her world.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 278 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 17.78mm | 181.44g
  • English
  • 0062237853
  • 9780062237859
  • 838,902

Review quote

"Cornwell skillfully navigates themes of mental illness, memories, and identity with carefully chosen prose. . . . [An] impressive first novel."--The Austin Review
show more

Back cover copy

Olivia Reed was fifteen when she left her hometown of Ocean Vista on the Jersey Shore. Two decades later, divorced and unstrung, she returns with her teenage daughter, Carrie, and nine-year-old son, Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Distracted by thoughts of the past, Olivia fails to notice when Daniel disappears from her side. Her frantic search for him sparks memories of the summer of 1987, when she exploded out of the cocoon of her mother's fierce, smothering love and into a sudden, full-throttle adolescence, complete with dangerous new friends, first love, and a rebellion so intense that it utterly recharted the course of her life.

Olivia's mother, Myla, was a practicing psychic whose powers waxed and waned along with her mercurial moods. Myla raised Olivia to be a guarded child, and also to believe in the ever-present infant ghosts of her twin sisters, whom Myla took care of as if they were alive. At fifteen, Olivia saw her sisters for the first time, not as ghostly infants but as teenagers on the beach. But when Myla denied her vision, Olivia set out to learn the truth--a journey that led to shattering discoveries about herself and her family.

Sarah Cornwell seamlessly weaves together the past and the present in this riveting debut novel, as she examines the relationships between mothers and daughters and the powerful forces of loss, family history, and magical thinking.
show more

Rating details

1,893 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 13% (240)
4 39% (744)
3 35% (654)
2 11% (211)
1 2% (44)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X