Before You Go – Clare Swatman #Bookreview


Published by Pan Macmillan

Ebook: 22 December 2016  |  Hardback: 9 February 2017  |  Paperback: 27 July 2017


When Zoe’s husband Ed dies, her world caves in. But what if Zoe can get Ed back?

You find your soulmate . . .

Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths – but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set . . .

Then the unthinkable happens.

One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now Zoe must find a way to survive. But she’s not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they’d built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said.

Now it’s too late. Or is it?


Before You Go is the author’s debut novel.

The story starts with the present and then takes you back to the beginning of Zoe’s relationship with Ed. After reading the prologue, I honestly thought the story would break me.  The events of that morning are something that could happen to anyone, at any time, and it really does make you think about the fragility of life and how the guilt of something that is said or even unsaid, could cause so much regret and heartache.

Watching Zoe grieving for Ed, my heart broke for her.  If only she could have changed the things she said and the way she behaved that morning.  There was so much she needed to say to Ed that she should have said before and she never thought she would get another chance.

This is a wonderful poignant story of love, regret and the difficulties of trying to make relationships work.  Zoe and Ed (and indeed most of the supporting characters including her best friend Jane, and families) are all so expertly portrayed, you find yourself drawn into their world of university student flatshares and then later on, into their lives together – the failure to communicate properly what they both want for the future – and do they want the same things, at the same time? They certainly both have some tough times to deal with during their relationship and there are moments when it seems that love is not enough to get them through.  “I stare blankly at the details of the waiting room.  The pale green walls, the posters offering counselling, help, advice, the rows of green chairs nailed to the floor, as though anyone was going to sneak one under their coat and walk out with it…”

I loved this story. The writing is beautiful and perceptive and I took the characters to my heart, flaws and all.  Do put this on your reading lists, you won’t regret it.

One more thing.  I am totally in love with my proof copy – it’s absolutely gorgeous (the picture doesn’t do it justice) and don’t tell anyone (*whispers*) – but I actually prefer this to the finished cover!


My thanks to the publisher for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for sending an ARC for review.



About the author:

Clare Swatman is a journalist for a number of weekly women’s magazines. Clare was Features Editor for Bella and has written for Best, Woman’s Own and Real People. She writes for her local magazine as well as the travel pages for Take a Break. Clare lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two boys.
Before You Go is her first novel, and she’s busy working on her second.


Author Links:   Twitter  | Amazon UK  | Goodreads


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