web site hit counter Before I Met You (Unabridged Audiobook) - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Before I Met You (Unabridged Audiobook)

Availability: Ready to download

An uplifting, warm and unforgettable story of two women in two different times from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author Betty Dean can't wait to leave her quiet upbringing in Guernsey and begin her mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will. She arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or s An uplifting, warm and unforgettable story of two women in two different times from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author Betty Dean can't wait to leave her quiet upbringing in Guernsey and begin her mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will. She arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks...As Betty searches for Clara, she is taken on a journey through her grandmother, Arlette's, extraordinary life in 1920s bohemian London, uncovering a tale of love, loss and heartbreak amidst the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. Will the secrets of Arlette's past help Betty on her path to happiness? This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.


Compare

An uplifting, warm and unforgettable story of two women in two different times from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author Betty Dean can't wait to leave her quiet upbringing in Guernsey and begin her mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will. She arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or s An uplifting, warm and unforgettable story of two women in two different times from the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author Betty Dean can't wait to leave her quiet upbringing in Guernsey and begin her mission to find Clara Pickle - the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother's will. She arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks...As Betty searches for Clara, she is taken on a journey through her grandmother, Arlette's, extraordinary life in 1920s bohemian London, uncovering a tale of love, loss and heartbreak amidst the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. Will the secrets of Arlette's past help Betty on her path to happiness? This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.

30 review for Before I Met You (Unabridged Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    He was not a boss-eyed sailor. Or a rapist. He was a legend. ...and that folks, is where I cried. There is something about a story where the truth comes out of hiding that really does something to me. While I didn't quite make it to Jellicoe Road snot-inducing tears, there were still plenty of buried hormones which bubbled up to the surface - enough to produce a steady stream of tears to run down my face for a couple of minutes. I was about due for a book to stir up some emotions in me He was not a boss-eyed sailor. Or a rapist. He was a legend. ...and that folks, is where I cried. There is something about a story where the truth comes out of hiding that really does something to me. While I didn't quite make it to Jellicoe Road snot-inducing tears, there were still plenty of buried hormones which bubbled up to the surface - enough to produce a steady stream of tears to run down my face for a couple of minutes. I was about due for a book to stir up some emotions in me. Sometimes the apathy can actually get tiring! Experiencing Before I Met You felt like a jump-start to my soul. I needed these feels! The words were so pretty! I kid you not, I was lying on a screwdriver in my bed and was vaguely aware of something poking me, yet I kept on reading because I was completely enraptured by an extremely beautiful scene. The story is set in motion when an aging woman named Arlette dies, leaving behind an inheritance to a mysterious woman named Clara Pickle. Arlette's step-granddaughter Betty is due the money should Clara not be found within a suitable amount of time. Instead of Betty waiting out the time and collecting her inheritance, she decides to go on an adventure to find the recipient of the will. She was here. She was here. Her life had finally begun. Now we're at the point where I'd normally say : adventures ensue. In the case of Before I Met You, I might have to word things differently. For the best adventure is not focused around Betty, even though it is her mystery to solve. All of the excitement comes from finding out about Arlette's past. The reader is hurled back in time to the 1920's as we get the pieces of Arlette's life which were unknown to the people who knew her best at the time of her death. In the case of many books told from two viewpoints in two different time periods, there's always one viewpoint which seems to stand out as stronger than the other. At first, I would have sworn that Betty's tale would be far more fascinating. She was on her own in a new city, she had a handsome and mysterious market man take an interest in her, and she had also become a nanny for a big name musician. And while that was all well and good, Betty's story was merely the catalyst for us to find out about all things Arlette. I never really warmed up to Betty or her cares. Betty's potential musician love interest was meh. I only liked Betty's part of the story when John was in it because he was quite yummy. Arlette stole the show. Her story captivated me. I could imagine the vividly painted picture of 1920's London, with the music and the frolicking (yes, dammit, people frolicked!) and the dancing. This was not a prohibition tale, for the atmosphere was more open in London during the time period than it was in the states. I fell in love with Godfrey, the charming musician who Arlette couldn't stay away from. This was a time where inter-racial romance was not widely accepted, except for in the clubs and dance halls, where it was all about living life to the fullest. Arlette found herself wondering if she should buck the rules in order to follow her heart, or if she should stick with the man who would be easier to have a life with. Here she was, torn between the man who kept her safe and the man who made her feel mad with wanting. So how does Arlette's story tie in to the unknown Clara Pickle? Well now, I can't tell you that. The book is about following Betty on her journey to find out who Clara is. By the time we get there, I felt like I'd been put through the ringer. My little heart was palpitating like crazy when the pieces finally started to come together. This was my first book by Lisa Jewell but it will certainly not be my last. This woman can write passages which make me want to reach into the pages of the book and see the images for myself, which is so wonderful to experience. If you've read and loved Jojo Moyes (Me Before You, The Girl You Left Behind, etc.) and like books which bring together the past and present, this is going to be one you won't want to miss.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I'm the only person on Goodreads so far to give this book one star. I have read all of Lisa Jewell's other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. But I just didn't care about this one. The writing was formulaic, you knew exactly what was going to happen, the characters were one dimensional and stereotypical, and overall it was rather boring. Maybe I've just out grown Lisa Jewell, but I'm sure if she wrote this novel as her first, it wouldn't have been published.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Britany

    I've been on a Lisa Jewell kick, and enjoying reading through her backlist. I have to say, this one is my least favorite by far. I almost had a hard time believing this was the same author. Two alternating timelines, one Arlette- post WWI England, falls in love with a famous black musician but chaos ensues. The other- Betty Dean (Great name!) in the 1990's- cares for Arlette on her deathbed and then goes out to search for the person named in Arlette's will -- Clara Pickle. How are these characte I've been on a Lisa Jewell kick, and enjoying reading through her backlist. I have to say, this one is my least favorite by far. I almost had a hard time believing this was the same author. Two alternating timelines, one Arlette- post WWI England, falls in love with a famous black musician but chaos ensues. The other- Betty Dean (Great name!) in the 1990's- cares for Arlette on her deathbed and then goes out to search for the person named in Arlette's will -- Clara Pickle. How are these characters all related? Secrets, racial tension and pop stars all get in the way. I have to admit I was much more interested in Betty's story than Arlette's. (Which almost never happens-- who ever likes the present day better than the historical?). This one just missed the mark for me. I wasn't super invested in the characters, there were a couple of things that I found hard to believe as actual connections. The writing wasn't as strong and what tension existed was weak and uneventful. If I quit books, this would be one in that category. Still not giving up on my Jewell renaissance, but happy to move onto the next one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Tesh

    A good idea for an interesting plot, but the author couldn't get far enough away from her usual chick lit style to do it justice. The result was much too twee for me and also littered with silly and avoidable inaccuracies. Of these, for me, the worst was on page 430: "a big, empty house on a cliff, with distant tantalising views towards the white cliffs of Dover" . The house was in Guernsey, Dover is over 200 miles away! And if distance and the earth's curvature were not a big enough obstacle, t A good idea for an interesting plot, but the author couldn't get far enough away from her usual chick lit style to do it justice. The result was much too twee for me and also littered with silly and avoidable inaccuracies. Of these, for me, the worst was on page 430: "a big, empty house on a cliff, with distant tantalising views towards the white cliffs of Dover" . The house was in Guernsey, Dover is over 200 miles away! And if distance and the earth's curvature were not a big enough obstacle, the Cherbourg Peninsula in between the two would certainly block the view. So an easy read but not my type of book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Fielding

    For me, curling up with a Lisa Jewell novel is like curling up with a coffee in front of a warm fire – comforting, cosy with the guarantee that it will warm the cockles of my heart. This book did not disappoint. Well-written, vivid and at once warm and funny and poignant and moving. It’s a more mature read than some of Lisa’s earlier novels – even with a relatively young heroine, it is less ‘chicklit’ in feel and deals with some serious rather than frivolous themes. I especially enjoyed the dual For me, curling up with a Lisa Jewell novel is like curling up with a coffee in front of a warm fire – comforting, cosy with the guarantee that it will warm the cockles of my heart. This book did not disappoint. Well-written, vivid and at once warm and funny and poignant and moving. It’s a more mature read than some of Lisa’s earlier novels – even with a relatively young heroine, it is less ‘chicklit’ in feel and deals with some serious rather than frivolous themes. I especially enjoyed the dual points of view explored in the book – of Arlette, a young woman in 1920s London, and her step-granddaughter Betty, in 1990s London. There are wonderful parallels and also juxtaposition of the women’s experiences that made for a compelling and powerful read. The characters are multi-faceted and realistic and likeable, and I was rather sad by the end of the book that their story had come to an end. For me, the best part of this book is the sense of place that the author creates. I love the island of Guernsey, so I enjoyed the descriptions of that setting, but it is London that really comes alive on the pages. Having read this book soon after finishing The Paris Wife, which depicts 1920s Paris, I found myself drawing parallels and enjoying the glimpse of life in bohemian London during that era. I think the author does a marvellous job of capturing the heart of London – Soho – without over-romanticising it. Take the following extract: All she knew was that the day was dying and the night was giving birth to itself, and there was something electric, something magnetic pulling her down Carnaby Street, past self-consciously crazy boutiques, past grimy pubs, through the throngs of tourists and teenage girls just like her, girls from somewhere else with overblown ideas of themselves, girls having a special treat with dowdy mothers and bored father, a day in town with an early lunch at Garfunkel’s, overfilled bowls from the salad bar, tickets for a West End show tucked safely in Mum’s bum-bag. It wasn’t real. Even to Betty’s immature, small-town eyes she could see through the fakery and the stage setting. There was something both murky and beguiling beyond this plastic street of Union Jacks and Beatles posters, something grimy and flittering. By the end of the book, I found myself wanting to visit London and the locations that feature in the story, so alive did the characters feel to me. Of course, at the heart of the story is romance – that of Arlette and of Betty – and indeed all sorts of relationship are explored in the novel. The result is a touching and memorable book that I recommend to any reader who enjoys romance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    I bailed at 72%. I just really hated this book and its heroines. I will give it points for keeping me intrigued. After all, I kept plunging along even though I disliked its heroines. I kept thinking, "Well, I want to know what happened" even after I figured out who the mysterious Pickle lady was. It was so obvious. But the heroines just totally suck. While I don't expect them to be perfect..they must have flaws as we all do, can they possibly be more unlikable and STUPID? The modern-day girl--she I bailed at 72%. I just really hated this book and its heroines. I will give it points for keeping me intrigued. After all, I kept plunging along even though I disliked its heroines. I kept thinking, "Well, I want to know what happened" even after I figured out who the mysterious Pickle lady was. It was so obvious. But the heroines just totally suck. While I don't expect them to be perfect..they must have flaws as we all do, can they possibly be more unlikable and STUPID? The modern-day girl--she constantly wants to remind us she "gave up her life" to care for an old lady. What does she want, a medal? She likes one guy but beds another. She can't wait for the old lady to die but then just sells the stuff she looked forward to acquiring. And the Soho bit...why the obsession with living in a place that is a "kingdom of sirens and neon and filth and chaos and double yellow lines as far as the eye could see"? To say I don't get her or like her is an understatement. And the past story... The heroine is likable until she lets a man destroy her life. She is so weak it's disgusting. I hate women who allow themselves to be victims, who don't fight back. I wanted to throw up. And the romance was so dry... I failed to FEEL the love they supposedly had. Granted, he speaks politely to her and says things like "violent urge" but it's so dry and his character is so flat when it should be passionate and the romance totally misses the mark. Just a total miss for me, but I dedicated four days to it so I'm posting my two cents. I hated it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I've read and enjoyed Lisa Jewell's books for more than ten years, and I highly recommend both One-Hit Wonder and A Friend of the Family. But Before I Met You left me cold. Jewell does a good job of portraying the combination of wide-eyed wonder, tinge of fear, and naive determination that both Betty, in the 1990s, and Arlette, in the 1920s, feel as young women on their own in a big city for the first time. She also keeps the pages turning to find out the mystery behind the beneficiary in Arlett I've read and enjoyed Lisa Jewell's books for more than ten years, and I highly recommend both One-Hit Wonder and A Friend of the Family. But Before I Met You left me cold. Jewell does a good job of portraying the combination of wide-eyed wonder, tinge of fear, and naive determination that both Betty, in the 1990s, and Arlette, in the 1920s, feel as young women on their own in a big city for the first time. She also keeps the pages turning to find out the mystery behind the beneficiary in Arlette's will who Betty is determined to find. But the narration is strangely distant from the characters, and I never felt fully connected to them. The object of Arlette's passion is more of a paragon than a real person. (view spoiler)[ It was difficult to believe, even in those short "enlightened" years between the World Wars, that almost nobody batted an eyelash when Arlette became the lover of a black musician. (hide spoiler)] In fact, none of the male characters work, with the exception of the taciturn young man who is one of the first people Betty encounters in her new life. All in all, not my favorite Lisa Jewell by far.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    This felt like a departure from other Jewell novels I’ve read. It’s not a romance, but it was essentially a study of how the romantic missteps of two women in different periods shaped the development of their lives and personalities. And very oddly, they both seemed fairly ordinary except for the siren-like effect each had on men around them, men who found them devastatingly attractive, a characteristic that felt manufactured and out of place with the way you otherwise see the two women in their This felt like a departure from other Jewell novels I’ve read. It’s not a romance, but it was essentially a study of how the romantic missteps of two women in different periods shaped the development of their lives and personalities. And very oddly, they both seemed fairly ordinary except for the siren-like effect each had on men around them, men who found them devastatingly attractive, a characteristic that felt manufactured and out of place with the way you otherwise see the two women in their worlds. Their extraordinary and inconstantly portrayed beauty seemed manufactured to place them in situations and relationships necessary for Jewell to go where she wanted in the story, when more interesting and authentic set-ups could have worked as well. It was just—odd. I was disappointed by how little of the search to learn to the identity of a mysterious woman occupied the story, and how predictable the eventual results were. Still, despite my complaints, I enjoyed being immersed in a Lisa Jewell book. Characters and dilemmas are more real than not, the writing is deft and sometimes lovely, and the story lingers well after it’s over.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I was expecting this to be better than what it was. It started off great but then somewhere in the middle I kind of lost interest. I wanted to know what happened so I kept reading but I didn't really get into the characters. Just finished with a lukewarm feeling overall. Just a little disappointed. The use of the f-word was over used as well, which became very irritating!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book! Lisa Jewell has amazed me again by her amazing writing. I can’t wait to start another one of her books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Resa

    Lisa Jewell has created an interesting story of 20-something Betty, leaving her home island of Gurnsey for the city of London to see what life has in store for her while trying to find the mysterious Clara Pickle, the woman her step-grandmother has left all her money to. The story takes Betty into 1920s London and a world of Jazz clubs and intrigue she didn’t think her grandmother was capable of. Unfortunately the novelty of the plot is all this novel has going for it. With flat, unrealistic ch Lisa Jewell has created an interesting story of 20-something Betty, leaving her home island of Gurnsey for the city of London to see what life has in store for her while trying to find the mysterious Clara Pickle, the woman her step-grandmother has left all her money to. The story takes Betty into 1920s London and a world of Jazz clubs and intrigue she didn’t think her grandmother was capable of. Unfortunately the novelty of the plot is all this novel has going for it. With flat, unrealistic characters, improbable romances with little chemistry, and little that leaves you invested in the outcome. I had high hopes for this book, but it did not deliver. Obviously, as a Jewell book, this novel falls in the chick-lit, light side of literature. I didn’t come to this book expecting it to be a great workth (10) of literature like The Luminaries (also released in the US on 10.13) but I did expect a little more from it. Chick-lit lives and dies on the lovability of its characters and the reality of the romances. Betty starts of realistic and her relationship with grandmother Arlette makes the first third of this novel live up to what I thought the whole novel would be. But. When Betty movies to London things just get weird. There’s the somewhat irrelevant side story and rockstar Dom Jones. The tepid kind of sort of romance with John Brightly, and the odd assortment of neighbors that seem to be thrown in as a caricature of what people expect to read about city life that lack the description to make them believable. Then there’s the flashback to Arlette’s story, which held up a little longer than Betty’s but eventually fell in the trap of “hurry up and make a plot” and the characters started to fall apart, with an almost unbelievable rape side story that really caused the whole thing to take a strange (and confusing) turn. The writing is done well and there are some chapters that make things interesting, but overall I finished the story more grateful it was over than excited about the outcome.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    I’ve read one other Lisa Jewell, and it was a dark little number. I think I expected the same, but that wasn’t at all what I received. Instead I read this, a pleasant 3.5 star read that runs between two time periods: one present and the other in the jazz age of the 1920’s just pre Bright Young Things. Our main protagonist, Betty, a very likable girl almost always does the right thing and is impossibly beautiful and smart. Hard to like a girl like that, but you will. The second, her step grand-mo I’ve read one other Lisa Jewell, and it was a dark little number. I think I expected the same, but that wasn’t at all what I received. Instead I read this, a pleasant 3.5 star read that runs between two time periods: one present and the other in the jazz age of the 1920’s just pre Bright Young Things. Our main protagonist, Betty, a very likable girl almost always does the right thing and is impossibly beautiful and smart. Hard to like a girl like that, but you will. The second, her step grand-mother Arlette, a mythical creature lives in an upstairs boudoir (and after her death, in Betty’s memory and historical glimpses that we see via the grande dame, herself) of a crumbling manse on the edge of a cliff in Guernsey.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I enjoy well written chick lit, but I’ve always avoided Lisa Jewell – I have no idea why, but I always thought she was at the “fluffy” end of the spectrum. This book is so good it really moves her out of the chick lit camp for me, it was a wonderful and really different read. If I say it reminded me of the best of JoJo Moyes, I mean it as a real compliment. Betty’s 90s story – part love story, part investigation of the past – is interspersed with the story of Arlette and her life amid the bohemi I enjoy well written chick lit, but I’ve always avoided Lisa Jewell – I have no idea why, but I always thought she was at the “fluffy” end of the spectrum. This book is so good it really moves her out of the chick lit camp for me, it was a wonderful and really different read. If I say it reminded me of the best of JoJo Moyes, I mean it as a real compliment. Betty’s 90s story – part love story, part investigation of the past – is interspersed with the story of Arlette and her life amid the bohemian set in the 1920s. The transitions are effortless, and both timeframes have a depth of detail that is absolutely captivating. Both Betty and Arlette are wonderfully drawn characters, and both stories – with their overlaps – are totally engrossing. It’s a tribute to Lisa Jewell’s writing that I never felt any wrench moving from one story to the other – either thread would have kept me hooked. I understand this dual-time narrative is a bit of a departure for the author, but I do regret not discovering her writing earlier – back catalogue, here I come!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I was lucky to get this one from the publishers to give an honest review and I must say, this was an excellent detailed read. After reading her grandmother's will, she became intrigued with a mysterious woman mentioned in there. She couldn't let this rest until she found more out about her and all that it entalled. It keeps turning pages, it really is an excellent read which you can expect from Lisa Jewell. You will find this at Random house publishers and other book outlets

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    A marvellously written novel. Lisa Jewell is one of the best women writters. I always seem to be able to get into her books straight away. For any reader that has not read any of Lisa's book , please do try them all. I am sure readers and book clubs with love them all.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    This is a book about a young girl who moves to Guernsey with her mother and step father and ends up looking after her step grandmother up until she dies. The will leaves some money to an unknown person and the granddaughter sets off to London to try to find this person uncovering an unknown history about Arlette that the family had no idea existed. This book gives details about the experiences of two women from Guernsey living in London, the one in the 1920s, the other in 1995. Arlette goes to l This is a book about a young girl who moves to Guernsey with her mother and step father and ends up looking after her step grandmother up until she dies. The will leaves some money to an unknown person and the granddaughter sets off to London to try to find this person uncovering an unknown history about Arlette that the family had no idea existed. This book gives details about the experiences of two women from Guernsey living in London, the one in the 1920s, the other in 1995. Arlette goes to live with wealthy family friends, takes a job at Liberty's where she is surrounded by glamour and luxury. She gets involved with the jazz scene and falls in love with an exotic clarinet player. 75 years later her step granddaughter Betty follows her in search of a mysterious beneficiary of her will. Her lot is to take a studio flat in Soho and work at Wendy's. It's wonderful to compare the lives of the two women.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    My initial impression of this book was that it was a sweet, historical cozy mystery, but as I read further along I realized it had unexpected heart and depth. The book flips between dual stories of a young woman in 1995 and her grandmother in the 1920s, tied through a mystery the granddaughter is trying to solve about her family’s past. Their stories, unbeknownst to either of them, have many parallels as they set out from Guernsey to try life in London. They both learn, for good or bad, that one My initial impression of this book was that it was a sweet, historical cozy mystery, but as I read further along I realized it had unexpected heart and depth. The book flips between dual stories of a young woman in 1995 and her grandmother in the 1920s, tied through a mystery the granddaughter is trying to solve about her family’s past. Their stories, unbeknownst to either of them, have many parallels as they set out from Guernsey to try life in London. They both learn, for good or bad, that one person’s actions can reverberate across the lives of many. I think you could take away something simplistic in saying that one of the women made better choices that led to a better life, but there is more meat on this bone. How does one protect themselves from the dangers of life? What are the constraints on freedom in different time periods? What do we owe those we love? Does it matter if they love us back? So many questions and, in this reader’s opinion, Lisa Jewell isn’t moralistic enough to offer us easy answers. Like any of us, each of these women does the best she can with what she’s given and the rest is out of her direct control.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane Lochner

    Formulaic in the sense of "somewhat rootless and or aimless or temporarily lost or adrift young-ish woman moves away or moves home, only to find a tantalizing scrap of family or perfect stranger history that for unknown reasons compels her to find the whole truth and consumes her waking hours; she may not even know why she Has To Do This, except as the entire plot and purpose of the novel existing; that is, the waking hours she is not living a charmingly shabby chic life while juggling multiple Formulaic in the sense of "somewhat rootless and or aimless or temporarily lost or adrift young-ish woman moves away or moves home, only to find a tantalizing scrap of family or perfect stranger history that for unknown reasons compels her to find the whole truth and consumes her waking hours; she may not even know why she Has To Do This, except as the entire plot and purpose of the novel existing; that is, the waking hours she is not living a charmingly shabby chic life while juggling multiple possible love interests, only to finally tie the loose ends together, enlighten all those around her, and end up with Mr. Right after all" See also: Lake of Dreams, A Vintage Affair, Sarah's Key, the Art Forget, and The Secret Keeper. This book just didn't do much for me, though the pace was brisk, and some of the writing quite descriptive; I do enjoy books set in London. Glad this one found a warmer audience with so many other readers, just wasn't one whose plot or writing moved me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sakinah

    It was totally unpredictable. You read it and think that you can see where it would take you but the truth is you are totally wrong and nothing from what you've guessed is true. It took me by surprise in lots of pages and I was dreading to reach the end as I wasn't ready to gave my heart broken. . . I liked it so much. It was an enjoyable read and heartwarming even though there is some sadness in it. It is an underrated book and definitely needs more attention. _____________________________ 4.5 .5 i It was totally unpredictable. You read it and think that you can see where it would take you but the truth is you are totally wrong and nothing from what you've guessed is true. It took me by surprise in lots of pages and I was dreading to reach the end as I wasn't ready to gave my heart broken. . . I liked it so much. It was an enjoyable read and heartwarming even though there is some sadness in it. It is an underrated book and definitely needs more attention. _____________________________ 4.5 .5 is taken away because I wanted to know did that person killed herself really? And why

  20. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    I started reading this book with high hopes and finished it rather disappointed. It's about two women - Betty in the mid 1990s and Arlette in the 1920s. So far so good. Betty nurses her step-grandmother , Arlette, for the last few years of her life in an isolated house in Guernsey. When the old lady dies Betty finds she's been left a fur coat and one thousand pounds and she must track down a lady called Clara Pickle to whom the bulk of Arlette's estate has been left. She has a year to do this an I started reading this book with high hopes and finished it rather disappointed. It's about two women - Betty in the mid 1990s and Arlette in the 1920s. So far so good. Betty nurses her step-grandmother , Arlette, for the last few years of her life in an isolated house in Guernsey. When the old lady dies Betty finds she's been left a fur coat and one thousand pounds and she must track down a lady called Clara Pickle to whom the bulk of Arlette's estate has been left. She has a year to do this and if she fails she gets the money and property which would have gone to the mysterious Clara. I actually quite liked Betty as a character. She starts out with a quest which it is in her interests to fail but she is determined to track Clara down and tell her of her inheritance. The story alternates between Betty and Arlette but it could almost have been told from Betty's point of view only. As it is the reader is mainly a few steps ahead of Betty in her attempts to track down Clara. I liked Lisa Jewell's writing style and found Betty an interesting character. I was much less interested in Arlette and I also felt that first two hundred pages could probably have been compressed into fifty leaving the salient facts to come out as the story progressed. I enjoyed the last third of the book and found the various people Betty came across while living in London well drawn and interesting. I'm not sure I shall be looking for other books by this author but I can understand why she is popular. I don't think this book lived up to its publicity or its description and I did not find it an uplifting or heartbreaking story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cleopatra Pullen

    Before I Met You is written in my favourite style, it is set in dual time-periods. Betty is in her early twenties in the 1990's when following the death of her Step-Grandmother Arlette she moves from Guernsey to Soho to trace the mysterious Clara Pickle who has been left a bequest in Arlette's will. The family have no idea who Clara Pickle is, no-one has ever heard her mentioned and as far as they know Arlette spent her whole life in Guernsey. Lisa Jewell's writing drew me into the story immediat Before I Met You is written in my favourite style, it is set in dual time-periods. Betty is in her early twenties in the 1990's when following the death of her Step-Grandmother Arlette she moves from Guernsey to Soho to trace the mysterious Clara Pickle who has been left a bequest in Arlette's will. The family have no idea who Clara Pickle is, no-one has ever heard her mentioned and as far as they know Arlette spent her whole life in Guernsey. Lisa Jewell's writing drew me into the story immediately with the balance between Betty and Arlette's story handled well. The references to the early nineties were plentiful, l such as the status symbol of a mobile phone and the lack of anyone else with one to text, will be familiar to those of us who were there but I have to confess Arlette's story set in the 1920's was what had me hooked. Arlette had befriended an artist and some jazz musicians exploring in the time period where the social lives of well-connected young women were opening up to all sorts of new possibilities. This is a story of two young women each making their way in the world for the first time without their families both have their fair share of adventures, misunderstandings and friendships. A lovely book with a slightly more mature feel than the earlier books I read and enjoyed by Lisa Jewell.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    Before I Met You, by Lisa Jewell, is a story told by the alternating viewpoints of Betty, from the 1990s, and Arlette, Betty's grandmother, from the 1920s. The characters from both time periods are free spirited and independent, but Arlette is the one whose story was unexpectedly intriguing. Arlette lived in Soho during the early 1920s but left and lived the remainder of her life in Guernsey. Betty has been living on Guernsey since a young child and taken care of her grandmother. When Arlette di Before I Met You, by Lisa Jewell, is a story told by the alternating viewpoints of Betty, from the 1990s, and Arlette, Betty's grandmother, from the 1920s. The characters from both time periods are free spirited and independent, but Arlette is the one whose story was unexpectedly intriguing. Arlette lived in Soho during the early 1920s but left and lived the remainder of her life in Guernsey. Betty has been living on Guernsey since a young child and taken care of her grandmother. When Arlette dies, she leaves a small inheritance to Betty and also to an unknown person, Clara Pickle. With her inheritance, Betty moves to Soho to find Clara Pickle. Both Arlette and Betty left Guernsey to experience city life, have a career and find romance. Eventually, both have to make difficult choices that set the course for their futures. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of life in London during the 1920s, but I would like to have learned more about what happened to Arlette after she returned to Guernsey. Overall, this book was a light and entertaining read. -Jacque C.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa B.

    My Thoughts This story is told in the alternating voices of Betty, from the 1990s, and Arlette, from the 1920s. Arlette is Betty’s grandmother. Betty is trying to solve a mystery from her grandmother’s past while navigating through her own ever changing life. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Jewell and I found it to be very entertaining. I liked both characters and found their stories to be intriguing. I thought the author did a great job of weaving together the past and the present. This st My Thoughts This story is told in the alternating voices of Betty, from the 1990s, and Arlette, from the 1920s. Arlette is Betty’s grandmother. Betty is trying to solve a mystery from her grandmother’s past while navigating through her own ever changing life. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Jewell and I found it to be very entertaining. I liked both characters and found their stories to be intriguing. I thought the author did a great job of weaving together the past and the present. This story was a nice mix of a mystery and a love story. I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Jewell. Many thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ange H

    I have enjoyed all of the Lisa Jewell novels that I have read so far, including this one - but it was not my favorite. I already know this author's style so I expected a slow build up, but this one took me even longer than usual to get into; and I felt the story was kind of weak. There was a dual timeline and I liked the story of the present (well, early 1990's) better. Betty Dean was a really likable main character, a young girl having a good time on her own for the first time in London. I care I have enjoyed all of the Lisa Jewell novels that I have read so far, including this one - but it was not my favorite. I already know this author's style so I expected a slow build up, but this one took me even longer than usual to get into; and I felt the story was kind of weak. There was a dual timeline and I liked the story of the present (well, early 1990's) better. Betty Dean was a really likable main character, a young girl having a good time on her own for the first time in London. I cared much less about the story of Arlett and her adventures in the roaring 20's. I thought that it was an odd decision by the author to have Arlett be Betty's "step-grandmother" instead of her real grandmother. It seemed an unnecessary detail that made Betty's determination to uncover her story less compelling. In any case, Jewell comes up with a resolution that ties the two stories together in a way that, as is her trademark, is satisfying and bittersweet.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    Before I Met You By: Lisa Jewell 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was a different type of book from this author for me. It took me a little while to get invested in, but once I did I was hooked. 🏠 Betty is called upon to take care of Arlette whose health is failing and the two become close. When Betty is in her twenties Arlette dies a mystery unfolds. A huge inheritance is left to a lady by the name of Clara Pickle. This story is told in two time periods. Secrets, and a string of happenstance take Betty on an unforget Before I Met You By: Lisa Jewell 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was a different type of book from this author for me. It took me a little while to get invested in, but once I did I was hooked. 🏠 Betty is called upon to take care of Arlette whose health is failing and the two become close. When Betty is in her twenties Arlette dies a mystery unfolds. A huge inheritance is left to a lady by the name of Clara Pickle. This story is told in two time periods. Secrets, and a string of happenstance take Betty on an unforgettable journey. #beforeimetyou, #lisajewell, #audiobook, #booksconnectus, #bookstagram, #stamperlady50

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    This lovely novel had me completely enraptured. Liz moves to the island of Guernsey at the age of ten with her mother, Alison, and stepfather, Jolylon, to live with her stepfather's mother, Arlette, and becomes Betty. Betty is very close to her grandmother, a woman who loves clothes and stylish things. When Arlette has a stroke and the develops Alzheimer's, Betty's parents can't cope and move out, but Betty stays, becoming Arlette's caregiver for several years. Upon Arlette's death, the will men This lovely novel had me completely enraptured. Liz moves to the island of Guernsey at the age of ten with her mother, Alison, and stepfather, Jolylon, to live with her stepfather's mother, Arlette, and becomes Betty. Betty is very close to her grandmother, a woman who loves clothes and stylish things. When Arlette has a stroke and the develops Alzheimer's, Betty's parents can't cope and move out, but Betty stays, becoming Arlette's caregiver for several years. Upon Arlette's death, the will mentions a beneficiary none of the family have ever heard of, Clara Pickle, and Betty sets off to London on a search that will take her places she never imagined. The story goes back and forth between Betty's search for Arlette's story and Clara, and Arlette's story in the years from 1919 to 1921 in London. Arlette's London is a London of fashion, music, parties, art, and love. From Liberty's to jazz clubs, parties with black jazz musicians, sitting for portraits, living a life full of happiness to heartbreak and tragedy, this is a life you won't forget. And Betty too, finds a life in London, from working in a burger joint, to mixing with rock stars, antique dealers, and others looking to make a life for themselves. This is a story of London, of a particular bubble of time in the years just after World War I, and of learning the stories of those we love. A wonderful story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I pounced on this one and was eager to start it as the cover had teased me from various bookshelves, and one day at the library I saw it's new cover peaking out at me. So even with six reserves to pick up, I took it out as well and started it first. We get to meet Betty who grows up on Guernsey looking after her elderly grandmother until her death. Finding a few clues to a woman mentioned in the will, Betty escapes to the mid nineties Soho London with just a few pounds and a mink coat. Alternating I pounced on this one and was eager to start it as the cover had teased me from various bookshelves, and one day at the library I saw it's new cover peaking out at me. So even with six reserves to pick up, I took it out as well and started it first. We get to meet Betty who grows up on Guernsey looking after her elderly grandmother until her death. Finding a few clues to a woman mentioned in the will, Betty escapes to the mid nineties Soho London with just a few pounds and a mink coat. Alternating with Bettys story, we get to meet Arlette her grandmother who is twenty one and newly arrived in London at the house of her mothers friend. Falling into a job at Libertys and evenings spend with a painter and his musician friends, Arlette begins to find her feet. I found myself just a bit annoyed with this book. The characters never really sunk in for me, and I was a bit confused in the first chapter having to reread parts of it again, to figure out who was who. I lived in midninties London, and had quite a good time, but I found myself a bit bored by Bettys clichéd live next to a rock star story and Arlettes live like a bohemian tale. I guess I just found it a bit hard to click with the story and in the end I liked the cover of the book more than the story itself. 2/5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This is my second Lisa Jewel book and she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Set in both 1995 and 1920 England, this is both a love story and a detective story. I loved the setting and the story. The characters were interesting and likable. A bit cheesy and predictable in a few places, it was still a very good book (and very different than my last Lisa Jewel book)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Juliana Graham

    This book was quite different to others that I've read by Lisa Jewell, in that it alternated between the 1990s and the 1920s whereas most of her other books are contemporary in setting. The main present day character was only in her early twenties but she was still relatable and similarly the 1920s character of Arlette was also convincing. There are a couple of shocking twists and a lot of really unfortunate instances of cruel timing which had me sadly shaking my head. All the ends were tied up This book was quite different to others that I've read by Lisa Jewell, in that it alternated between the 1990s and the 1920s whereas most of her other books are contemporary in setting. The main present day character was only in her early twenties but she was still relatable and similarly the 1920s character of Arlette was also convincing. There are a couple of shocking twists and a lot of really unfortunate instances of cruel timing which had me sadly shaking my head. All the ends were tied up neatly at the end but ultimately Arlette's story was tragic and because her story was in the past it felt like nothing could be done to make things better. Obviously, it's a book, she's a character and it was 70 years ago from when the character of Betty was investigating but it seemed especially sad that the truth that's uncovered is so unhappy. I liked the period detail of the 20s and the 90s, the latter of which i remember clearly first hand - whilst I wasn't around in London at that time, it felt pretty convincing though I do think the romance with the rock star was a little unnecessary! An enjoyable book and not typical chick lit for those who might dismiss it as such.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I really enjoyed this book with its dual time frame. The story alternatives between Arlette and her life in 1920’s London and that of Betty, her step-granddaughter, finding her way in the world on her own for the first time in London in the 1990’s, and tracing the footsteps of her grandmother whilst trying to track down a beneficiary in Arlette’s will, named Clara Pickle, who no-one in the family has ever heard of. Both Arlette and Betty were innocents and of similar age when they left their isla I really enjoyed this book with its dual time frame. The story alternatives between Arlette and her life in 1920’s London and that of Betty, her step-granddaughter, finding her way in the world on her own for the first time in London in the 1990’s, and tracing the footsteps of her grandmother whilst trying to track down a beneficiary in Arlette’s will, named Clara Pickle, who no-one in the family has ever heard of. Both Arlette and Betty were innocents and of similar age when they left their island home of Guernsey for London life and we share in their new found confidence as they navigate their way through life, love and tragedy. Some wonderful characters make up the cast, each with their own back story. It is clear that a lot of research has been done, especially with regard to 1920’s London and this adds to the enjoyment of the story. My one slight disappointment is that I would like to have known more about Arlette’s later life. I felt her story finished too soon however I still found it an engrossing read and look forward to Ms Jewell’s next book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.