Not all fairy tales have a happy ending — this is what Shelley Gallus discovers in “Before Ever After,” the debut novel of Filipino author Samantha Sotto.
After her idyllic marriage is cut short by the untimely death of her husband in a terrorist bombing, Shelley has a difficult time moving on, overcome by grief and memories of their life together. One fateful day, her doorbell rings, and she finds the story isn’t over just yet – standing on her doorstep is a man who looks exactly like her husband.
The stranger introduces himself as Paolo, claims her husband Max is his grandfather, and that Max is halfway across the world, alive and apparently well, and Paolo has pictures to prove it. Bewildered, and yet desperate for the truth, Shelley agrees to accompany Paolo to find the husband she believed dead. Along the way they exchange memories of the man they thought they knew, and Max’s identity is gradually revealed.