Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer

Setting: Paris
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: October 1, 2016

Two years ago, Zoe couldn't save her son. Her husband's words to her in the hospital have always burned to her core. She should have held harder to her son's hand or run faster to get him out of the road. Anything but live with the pain she's endured since her toddler died.

Zoe's marriage is on the rocks. In one last ditch effort to save their marriage, she and her husband Edward set off to Paris to try to reconnect. There, Zoe's wallet and cell phone are stolen by a pickpocket while her husband goes off to get their baggage. Lost in Paris with no way to contact Edward, Zoe finally has time to reflect on the events and where she wants to go from here.

Much of the discord between Zoe and Edward are based on the secrets they've kept. As the secrets were revealed, I honestly questioned if it was even worth them trying to save their relationship. Some of the secrets were just too much for me. Things that I cannot dream of keeping from my husband, even after the loss of a child. I admit I don't understand Zoe's grief, but I did lose a child in the fourth month of pregnancy, so I have a little bit of an idea.

While the secrets did keep me from liking either character, I found the real winner in this book was the setting. Paris came to life. Richly detailed snippets of the hotel staff, the stores they entered, the streets they wandered. That was so beautifully portrayed and ended up being the reason I kept reading.

Who We Were Before wasn't exactly my  proverbial cup of tea, but it's a book I can see some really enjoying. Give it a chance and see if you agree.


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