FICTION

Before Anyone Else

Turner. Mar. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781684424016. $31.99; pap. ISBN 9781684424009. $18.99. F
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DEBUT Bailey Edgeworth was raised by men, never knowing her mother. Bae, as she is affectionately called by her brother and his handsome best friend Griffin, yearns to make a name for herself outside of her family’s famous culinary shadow. She leaves her Atlanta home base and heads to New York, where she becomes a famed designer of five-star restaurants. From designing wins to flops in love, Hooton paints a portrait of Bailey’s life, complete with a love affair with Griffin and a hurried marriage to a mysterious English restaurateur. The author’s story is filled with twists, turns, and unexpected outcomes. It’s about finding out whom to put before anyone else and the constant tug of war that the decision entails.
VERDICT Hooton’s debut captures the dynamic of thirtysomething women as they navigate careers, love, and the everyday struggles of life. It will be popular with fans of Stephanie Evanovich’s Under the Table and other career-oriented chick lit. Readers should not expect uproarious comedic moments, but there is sly humor on the pages.

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