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  • Before I Met You

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (368 ratings)

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Before I Met You cover art

Before I Met You

Written by: Lisa Jewell
Narrated by: Helen Duff
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Publisher's Summary

After her grandmother Arlette's death, Betty is finally ready to begin her life. She had forfeited university, parties, boyfriends, summer jobs - all the usual preoccupations of a woman her age - in order to care for Arlette. Now she's ready for whatever life throws at her, and, since the will included a beneficiary unknown to her who lives in the city, she heads there to find the mysterious woman....

In 1920s London, Arlette is starting her new life in a time of postwar change. Beautiful and charismatic, she's drawn into a hedonistic world, but then tragedy strikes, and she flees back to her childhood home....

When Betty's search leads her to a man - someone who meant the world to her grandmother - the secrets of Arlette's past may help Betty find her own way to happiness in the present....

A rich detective story and a captivating look at London then and now, Before I Met You is an unforgettable novel about two very different women, separated by 70 years but united by big hearts and even bigger dreams.

©2013 Lisa Jewell (P)2018 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Before I Met You

Average Customer Ratings
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  • B
  • 2020-10-21

narration didn't work for me

The narrator speaks fast but makes very long pauses, so it's difficult to adjust the speed to a comfortable overall level. And the tones... it was too distracting. couldn't finish it, though I tried.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Beach Listen

Lovely voice - interesting, multi-layered story. Bit of a mystery and a few romances and some fascinating history. All in all, a perfect summer listen!

6 people found this helpful

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Great story, awesome performance

Certainly 4 1/2 If I could. Engaging characters, interesting story. The narration was superb- will be seeking out more from both the narrator and author.

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story skillfully narrated.

I loved the interweaving of the poignant story of Arlette with the unravelling of the mystery of Clara.

5 people found this helpful

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loved it!

the story was great and the narrator has an amazing voice, very well done, I recommend it .

5 people found this helpful

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Adored this book!

I loved this book in its entirety.
The story is just phenomenal and touching.
If you’re considering this as a read, think no more - grab it and start!!

2 people found this helpful

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Slow, but worthwhile

It took me a long time to get into the story. However, I did thoroughly enjoy it in the end.

2 people found this helpful

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I’m glad I didn’t waste a credit on this.

Maybe it’s just me but I prefer a narration rather than have the book “acted”. The characters accents were very annoying, I felt the narrator was trying to define the characters by their overly strong accents. Because of this I found it hard to like or empathize with them. ( other than the Godfrey Pickles character) Story was ok but predictable. Not my first Lisa Jewel novel but my least favourite.

2 people found this helpful

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Mesmerizing

This is my favourite book so far from Lisa Jewel. I loved the characters and the story: of how the past and the present came together. I was sad to finish as I truly loved this story.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting story, great performance

The narrator did a tremendous job giving each character their own voice. The story was interesting, and the way the story flowed was very unique. I would recommend a listen!

1 person found this helpful

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  • cristina
  • 2018-08-13

Awful

I have recently discovered this author. Most of her books, which I have read in quick succession, are great. This one was painful. Stilted dialogue. Stupid "plot." Lazy writing (there is one instance that goes something like this: "She was sure she saw that old look in his eyes, but she couldn't be sure." Seriously? Sure or not sure?). The characters are also quite unlikable in their sheer stupidity. They keep making idiotic decisions that seem inexplicable because they come out of nowhere. Had looked forward to this. Couldn't be more disappointed.

202 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Phyllis
  • 2018-12-23

Not the author’s best...

Story a little forced with what seemed like a non-mystery. The only character that was unique or interesting was “Sandy Beach” and he was only a prop for the story about the two women.

Narrator was fine in her own voice but the accents to identify different characters were just awful. The voices for the male characters were particularly dreadful.

99 people found this helpful

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  • anne
  • 2018-12-14

Kept Waiting For The Story To Begin...

I read "Then She Was Gone" and "I Found You" and was totally ecstatic thinking I'd finally found a new author I was anxious to follow. And because those two were so very good, I will try another of Ms. Jewell's books. But I cannot recommend this book. It was so very different from the other two. No real mystery, the characters were not interesting enough to peak my interest. I kept listening thinking the excitement and depth of "I Found You" was going to start any minute. I gave up about 3/4ths in.

55 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannah Desmond
  • 2018-10-15

I love this book

This book has everything I love about a book. The characters are likable, interesting, intelligent and "with it." The two timelines, one of the grandmother's romances and experiences in London and the other of the granddaughter's experiences in London many years later. The two lives seem to parallel each other. The two women make different choices from one another as their stories progress. This is well written and one of my favorite books. I will read it again.

35 people found this helpful

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  • ROBIN
  • 2018-12-28

Good book... EXCELLENT narrator!!

This was a very good book and it was different from other Lisa Jewell books I have listened to. But the narrator MAKES the story... She is unbelievable with differentiating between the characters and accents

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jo lynn Wesley
  • 2018-11-02

A mediocre story made magnificent....

... Helen Duff’s performance made this read entertaining and fun to listen to. Great inside into the 1920’s as well!

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alicia
  • 2018-09-30

Wonderful

Great. Ok from beginning to end. No drag in the middle. Didn’t want it to end

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Romaine Conner
  • 2018-12-16

Took too long

The ending as all Lisa jewels was great. But this story too so long and so much build up to the end. Glad I stayed with it but wanted to stop several times.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • "unknown"
  • 2018-11-13

Terrible

I quit without finishing, I never do but this book was boring, pointless and even if it miraculously improved I’ve already lost hours of my life.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather M. Mckissick
  • 2018-12-08

One of the best books I've ever read

Honestly I loved everything about this story. The characters, the plot, the variety. The performance by Helen Duff was spectacular. I literally laughed out loud, and was brought to tears. I have waited a while before listening to anything else because this book was so moving. I still think about it. Excellent in every way.

12 people found this helpful