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THE STORY OF BEFORE

I wonder today how no one else could see the bad thing coming. Not that I knew back then what the bad thing was; and if I had – if I’d known one of us was going to die – would there have been anything I could have done to prevent it? I play it all back in my mind, over and over. The clues were all there.

On New Year’s Eve, eleven-year-old Ruth and her brother and sister sit at a bedroom window, watching the garden of their new Dublin home being covered in a thick blanket of snow. Ruth declares that a bad thing will happen in the coming year – she’s sure of it. But she cannot see the outline of that thing. She cannot know that it will change their lives utterly, that the shape of their future will be carved into two parts; the before and the after.

Or that it will break her heart and her family.

This is Ruth’s story. It is the story of before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boy Between cover by Susan StairsTHE BOY BETWEEN

Mags keeps everything safe in the box. Letters. Postcards. Photographs. Each memento plays a role in the secret story that’s always in her thoughts. A story that can’t remain hidden forever.


When Orla is handed an envelope by her father, she is perplexed by what she finds – a photograph of her parents, taken the summer before she was born. Her heavily expectant mother, unusually, is smiling. Between her parents stands a teenage boy, her mother’s arm lovingly around him. 

Orla later asks her father about the boy’s identity, but he refuses to be drawn. Her mother’s mood is low again and he doesn’t want her upset. So begins the daughter’s investigation, back to the summer of 1983, and the story of a young English boy on holidays in rural Ireland. As the circle closes on a web of tragedy and deceit, the truth that emerges will impact on all their lives. 

The Boy Between is an expertly crafted, suspenseful and ultimately hopeful story of family secrets, a fateful summer, and the long-buried events of a distant past.

Copyright © Susan Stairs