Before You Go

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
117 Pages
Reviewed on 03/09/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joseph Ogbonna for Readers' Favorite

This astonishing book, Before You Go by Julie Hodgson, is a book about a career-driven journalist, Daisy, who chose her career over everything. She believes that happiness and fulfillment only come when you’re at the top of your career. However, she agreed to go on a holiday with her husband, Ethan, who had been suffering in their marriage because of her emotional unavailability. Although they were companions, he still felt lonely in their relationship. So, he thought it was the opportunity they needed to relax, rekindle their love, and strengthen their relationship. But Ethan was heartbroken when he discovered the reason Daisy chose the remote Scottish coastal town of Banff for their holiday. What is her motive? Can Ethan overlook everything and continue with the marriage?

Though I am a die-hard fan of action and supernatural novels, a cursory glance at this short drama captured my attention and left me with no choice but to read to the end. Before You Go is an engrossing story. Julie Hodgson showed mastery in this book with her colorful and realistic portrayal of the scenery and the characters. I liked the inclusion in Ethan’s note, which said: “… You can get on with your life and not become the woman that I can see you turning into—someone who will do anything to get ahead in life, not caring who they stand on to do it.” (p.31). This workaholism is one reason we have many marriages but few happy homes in our societies today. Julie Hodgson has dedicated time in this book to send a message to couples who want to build a magnificent home. I also recommend Before You Go to singles who dream of having a happy home in the future. A read without regret.

Pikasho Deka

Before You Go is a short paranormal novella written by Julie Hodgson. Ethan and Daisy, a late-twenties couple, travel to the remote Scottish town of Banff, hoping to bring some spice back into their humdrum marriage. But soon after their arrival, Ethan learns that the only reason Daisy chose to come to Banff is to chase Hollywood starlet Simone Garbo and get a juicy scoop on her for her gossip column. Outraged by her behavior, Ethan leaves Daisy alone in Banff. Meanwhile, Simone grieves for her recently deceased husband in a seemingly innocuous cafe. However, Daisy soon learns from the hostess Mrs. Friendly that the cafe is actually a hub for dead authors to fulfill their lifelong wishes through visitors such as her. As Daisy helps the authors, she rediscovers herself.

Before You Go is a humorous tale of self-discovery that ingeniously touches your heart without you even realizing it. Author Julie Hodgson spins a captivating paranormal yarn about a young career-centric woman realizing her shortcomings through the extraordinary circumstances she finds herself in. Filled with wit, charm, and humor, Hodgson's narrative hooks you in from the get-go and refuses to let go until the end. The characters are layered and complex. Their inner motives and conflicts create plenty of drama, keeping you hooked through the pages. Daisy's gradual evolution from a self-absorbed, celebrity-chasing journalist to someone who is empathic toward others makes her a riveting protagonist you can't help but root for. I had a wonderful time with Before You Go. Highly recommended.

Jennifer Ibiam

Daisy and her husband, Ethan, were on a supposed holiday in a remote Scottish area. Little did he know she chose that area to execute her plan. Daisy was so obsessed that she didn’t notice when her husband left her. You see, Daisy was a journalist with a stunted career, and she was after an exclusive interview with the elusive Hollywood darling, Simone Garbo. If she landed the interview, her career and relevance would skyrocket. Daisy laid an ambush for the actress at the Purple Moons and Coffee Spoons cafe run by Mrs. Friendly. But there was more to this place, as Daisy soon discovered. From communicating with celebrities in the afterlife to facing her inner demons, would Daisy’s career ever take off? Find out in Before You Go by Julie Hodgson.

How far would you go to advance your career? What would you sacrifice to get ahead in life? Your spouse, friends, family, or kids? Before You Go by Julie Hodgson was a riveting novel that asked all these questions while urging us to look in the mirror. Are we reflections of the things we detest in others? I loved everything about this unusual story, from the plot to narration and development. It presented me with a flawed yet consistent main character that made me play devil’s advocate. One minute, she was kind, and the next minute, she was selfish and insensitive to get her way. Unfortunately, she mirrored human nature. I loved Julie’s writing style and talent for bringing the captivating story to a satisfying end. Great work, Julie.