Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story, written by Renee Carlino came to me as such an unexpected surprise read. I was in a bit of a book funk. I mean, I seriously have 100 ebooks and physical paperback books I've yet to read but I just couldn't decide what I wanted to read; nothing was calling to me for some reason. So, I scrolled back in my Kindle to see what I'd purchased a while ago and still hadn't read, when low and behold there was this little book that I'd heard lots of good things about but really had no clue what it was about. I decided that it was time and I began.
This led me on a most delightful journey through 15 years in the lives and love between Graceland and Matthias. The story takes place at first in the present time but quickly takes us back to when the two first met and weaves an intricate tale of their courting in college. We go through all of the fun little nuances of their lives while they navigate their relationship with each other and with others. Carlino does a superb job of taking the mundane task of describing a couple going out to eat and turning it into such a sweet little adventure that leaves the reader smiling. It appeals to the readers own sense of sentiment and nostalgia. It takes you back in time and brings forth all of these feelings of youth and longing and remembrance.
We soon discover that time does little to mend the hurt and the scars of broken hearts, as Grace and Matt discover each other once again on a subway train years later. They discover that their story isn't quite as over as they thought it was. In fact, it may be just beginning.
I will admit this book was a little hard to get into initially. It started a bit slow and I really wasn't sure where it was going for a while but I'm glad I stuck with it. The end resulted in being carried away to such a tender, innocent time in the character's lives in discovering who they were and what they wanted in life. I felt like I was young again and experiencing the events with them; I think that takes a talented writer to take the reader there, to that place.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a beautifully, well written, not-your-run-of-the-mill love story. This one will give you the feels and transport you lovely wonderland, I promise!