Praise for The Story of Before:

The Story of Before is a bewitching read, a book that transports you back to the world of childhood, where everything outside of yourself is a mystery to be unravelled. Beautifully observed, the novel conjures up the landscape of nineteen-seventies Dublin as effectively as a time machine. I can’t recommend it highly enough’
Kathleen MacMahon, author of This is How it Ends

‘Stairs revels in sharp physical description, tinged with implication… Familiar and unsettling… An assured debut’
The Sunday Times

‘A single event can occur in a lifetime of a family that will change utterly the heart that keeps it beating… Stairs has made it all the more absorbing by writing in the assured voice and sensibility of a young girl’
Sunday Independent

‘With this moving and evocative novel, Stairs has won her spurs as an emerging new voice in Irish quality women’s fiction’
Irish Independent

‘As literary Ireland continues to await the definitive novel of Celtic-tiger Ireland, first-time novelist Susan Stairs has swept in under the radar to pique our interest with a pre-tiger-era story which makes for perhaps more beguiling reading’
Sunday Business Post

‘An astoundingly assured piece of work which is beautifully written, poignant and compelling
Yorkshire Evening Post

‘A tale of childhood secrets and lies with a wonderful sense of time and place’

The Story of Before is a mesmerising psychological coming-of-age novel’
Irish Examiner

‘Nuanced…visceral…will consume the reader for more than 300 pages.’
Sunday Business Post

‘Susan Stairs’ debut novel is causing a stir for its accurate depiction of Ireland in the 70s, its sustained suspense, and powerful, moving story’
Irish Daily Star

The Story of Before is a wonderful and touching read which tugs at the heartstrings and reminds us how precious life can be’
InDaily, Adelaide

‘The deftly drawn characters and perfect pace and tone make this a beautiful book with a real heart that stays with you long after you have turned the last page.’
Bournemouth Echo

‘A wonderfully evocative book with a beautiful dusting of magic brushed through each page’

‘A debut that sings of expertise and accomplishment, a book that paints a picture of family life so intimate and up-close, you’ll feel as though you are peering through windows.’

‘This story takes you by the hand and pulls you gently but relentlessly on.’
Rear Party

‘Wow. This is good, the characters very alive, the complicated relationships enthralling. Highly recommended.’
Love Reading

‘…characters that live on in your heart long after you finish reading.’
Vanity case books

‘An outstanding debut…will keep the reader turning the pages late into the night.’
Random things through my letterbox

‘Rarely has an atmosphere of time and place been so well captured.’
We love this book

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