Thursday, January 7, 2021

Review: Before the Storm

Title: Before the Storm
Author: Di Morrissey

Publisher: 27th October 2020 by Pan Macmillan Australia

Pages: 432 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary

My Rating: 3.5 cups


Face her demons? Or run?

After being double-crossed by a devious colleague, career woman Ellie Conlan quits her job on principle. With no idea what to do next, she retreats to Storm Harbour, an idyllic Victorian beach town.

Ellie's grandfather runs The Storm Harbour Chronicle, the trusted local newspaper. As Ellie is drawn into a story about a development which could split the coastal community - and involves her with the influential O'Neill family - an event she has long suppressed threatens to overwhelm her.

Dark clouds gather as rumours fly and tensions mount. And when a violent storm breaks and rages, Ellie will finally have to confront her past.

My Thoughts

‘I bet everyone in this town has a story of one kind or another.’

A Di Morrissey book is always a guaranteed engaging read. On offer this time around is a well rounded tale about a rural community with all the family and friendships in small community living. A key and interesting theme Di gives to this tale is one of the importance of the media, particularly when it comes to shining the light on both freedom of speech and keeping those in power accountable. 

‘Enough!’ bellowed Patrick. ‘I run this paper. Council runs the town. Let’s stick to what we do, whether or not we agree on the ways in which we do it. I don’t try to run the council, so don’t you try to tell me how to run my newspaper’

Before the Storm also tells the tale of Ellie who is searching for the life that fits her best - whether it be in the corporate city world or living with her grandfather in the rural community of Storm Bay assisting him with the publication of the local paper. So it is clear that there is much on offer here to entice the reader with a variety of themes and stories - personal development, lifestyle, family secrets, small community living and of course, the importance of the media. 

‘... you’re not happy here, in your apartment, in the city. A minute ago you sounded so flat and worried. Now you’ve come alive with energy and passion. Ellie, you don’t want to be here, that’s all it is.’

I did enjoy this book, not so much as Di’s previous tale on ‘The Last Paradise’ (HERE), but still a solid and engaging read. It goes a little slow in places and some of the characters and dialogue was stereotypical at times. Overall, however, this is another engaging and thoughtful story to lose yourself in for a few hours. 

‘I believe one sees a place, no matter how well you think you know it, through the prism of past and present sensibilities, don’t you think?’ ... ‘Memories so often dictate emotions.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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