A Time Before Us: A Novel
Michael Holloway Perronne
Chances Press (2011)
Read by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/11)
“A Time Before Us” is a third novel in a series written by Michael Perronne. Having really enjoyed the first two books in the series, which were “A Time Before Me” and “Falling Into Me,” I was really curious to find out where his characters lives have taken them. Once again, the author did not disappoint me when I discovered that he has written another wonderful story. I also felt like I was visiting with some old friends when I got to step back into the character’s lives. I love how Perronne writes with a style that gives each person their own voice and very distinctive personalities.
Mason and Joey’s life, in New Orleans, picks up five years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Still reeling from the financial downfall wrought by both the hurricane and the current economy, the two men are doing the best that they can to keep the drag queen cabaret Savannah’s open. For them, it isn’t just about having a place to work, is also important to continue the legacy that Mason’s aunt left behind in the place that is her namesake. Through the story we also get to learn more about Aunt Savannah’s past and how she started the cabaret. Miss Althea also gets to tell her story about how she ended up in New Orleans. There is some additional drama, in the present, when Mason’s sister crashes a wedding, announcing that she just left her husband and her rebellious teen age daughter.
A variety of issues from the past, including those involving Billy come to the forefront and we see how past events circle around and influence the future. By making the right choices there is a chance for healing and forgiveness to come into the characters lives. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, because it shows that no matter what hardships a person endures, they still have a choice to do what is right, and in doing so can help both themselves and others that they might have hurt. This includes the pain of Billy’s betrayal to Mason. There are many lessons to be learned, especially as Mason discovers that he has to be more open with Joey so that Joey can give him emotional support as he deals with everything that life hands him. A creative solution completes the story, and it also completes the circle of healing.
It is with great pleasure that I not only recommend “A Time Before Us,” but I also suggest that readers new to this trilogy purchase all three books in this series so that they have them on hand for immediate reading!