Before Everything is an ode to friendship for readers of Anne Tyler, Kate Atkinson and Ann Patchett, full of dry humour, quiet wisdom and huge empathy.
'Redel proves that female friendship is the quiet, steady engine that truly runs the world.'
'At once tough and tender, funny and sad, this beautifully written novel articulates the dynamic realities of those wondrous friendships that last a lifetime.' Siri Hustvedt
From youthful scrapes to mid-life turning points, the Old Friends have faced everything together.
So as Anna, their brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they've always done: they laugh and eat, and help each other make choices and plans, and talk through dilemmas with children and work and love.
But now the sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives takes on a new, urgent meaning. As their shared experiences are recounted and re-lived, this funny, bittersweet ode to friendship shows how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold.
'Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement.'
'One of the most brilliant, radiant and heartbreaking books I've read in years.'
Terminal illness doesn't always bring out the best in people, nor does it preclude other sorrows. To find an honest and sympathetic reflection of both truths is refreshing - Daily Mail
A celebration of life and death - Elle
A hugely moving celebration of love, life and friendship . . . Redel's prose is artful and insightful - S Magazine
Bittersweet - Grazia
An extraordinary, touching and tender story about female friendship - Prima
Brings to mind Virginia Woolf's The Waves - BBC Culture
Poetic and insightful . . . I have been blown away - Laura Jane Williams, author of BECOMING
An unflinching and affecting look at how one woman's final days change the lives of those around her - Publishers Weekly
Victoria Redel was born in New York, and attended Dartmouth College and Columbia University. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines including Granta, Harvard Review, Elle and The New York Times, and she currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Before Everything is her first novel to be published in the UK.