Before Her by Jacqueline Woodson

Before Her

In this transportive memoir, the National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming traces the relationships in her past that would eventually deliver her to the love of a lifetime.Before Jacqueline Woodson met Juliet, before her own self-realization, there were decades of friends, lovers, and family who defined the woman she’d become. In this haunting story of memory and identity, Jacqueline shares the profound impact they had on bend...

Details Before Her

TitleBefore Her
Release DateJul 30th, 2019
PublisherAmazon Original Stories
GenreNonfiction, LGBT, Short Stories, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews Before Her

  • Carol
    Before there was Juliet, there were the women who showed me the way to her, the roads that I had to walk to meet the people who I needed to meet. There were the friends whose deaths opened the doors to new friends I might not otherwise have ever known.I’m a Woodson stan. If you are, too, I predict you’ll adore this short —very short —story.Trigger warning for dog lovers: (view spoiler)[there’s a brief two paragraph plot line with a dog ...
  • Chava
    Death tears away the skin of one life, exposing another beneath it. Four months later, I would learn that I was pregnant.This is a short story in yet another Amazon Collection, The One. The collection seems to focus on love and romance, including love for one's children, pets, as well as romantic partners."Before Her" is my favorite of this series so far. Jacqueline Woodson weaves a beautiful story of love, death, and how all the little events - ...
  • Rena
    3.75 stars. Beautifully written vignette about love. I would love to see it become a full memoir.
  • Sasha
    This 17-page memoir of Woodson's love life up to the current love of her life was touching and lovely. She told a story most of us are familiar with, of love found and lost, and found again. I would love for her to expand on this and turn it into something more for her readers.
  • Ariel ✨
    The audiobook was available for free through Amazon Prime, so I decided to listen to it on my way home. It was a short story oscillating from sweet to serious; a good reminder that I have a lot of time ahead of me. I'm starting to feel pressure to meet certain life milestones, but I shouldn't think I need to decide accomplish it all by 26.
  • Betsy
    "I prefer the company of the theater and the arts." Me too. I typically don't enjoy short stories, as they aren't long enough to leave an impact. While 17 pages still isn't really long enough to make a huge impact, this was an enjoyable read. I'm so glad Woodson found her Juliet!
  • B.A. Wilson
    This is a short memoir. It feels honest but seems to be missing heart, or maybe emotion. The topics and content should have been intriguing, but instead it felt like a lot of disconnect thoughts with too little real depth or storytelling. Something about it just didn’t flow for me. I had trouble caring, despite all the brief mentions of potential intrigue. I think it would have been better had it just been one brief moment or story from her lif...
  • LeeTravelGoddess
    someday I will write my memoirs...
  • Ashley
    This short story felt like it was missing something. There was a bit of a 'How I Met Your Mother Vibe,' but I found parts of the story hard to follow. It wasn't bad, but I felt like it would have been helpful to learn a little more about the narrator/ her love interest. Maybe this is just because of the narration of the audio book (or maybe I'm just not a short story person?). I'll give another book in this Amazon series a try when I need somethi...
  • Theresa
    Amazing This short book was so perfectly well written and superb from the first words off the page I was completely drew into the entire story. She gave so much in so little time that I definitely wanted more... Such an amazing short from an amazing author.
  • Astrid J. Tolud
    ReminiscingThis story reminded of so many things in my childhood that I often had to stop reading and go back, because my mind had drifted to my own memories. I love the way she writes about her experiences as if she is still there. Her mentioning of many gay male friends dying in the eighties brought back memories of the world's dealing with this new sickness by making quilts and spreading them in parks to remember all the people who had died of...
  • Beth
    i really look forward to these reads from Amazon and enjoy the listen or read option. great cover.
  • Jennifer
    Dan Savage says relationships that come to end (which they all do, one way or another - even the ones that end with someone dying) can still be “successful” if you view it through the lens of What have I learned? How have I grown? What qualities do I want to look for in my next partner? That perspective is readily evident in Woodson’s narrative. Both she - and the reader, along for the ride - come to appreciate all that she experienced befo...
  • Angieleigh
    No!!! I need to know more!!I am so glad that, as usual, I went into this without knowing anything more than it was an LGBTQ book. I love being surprised by what lays between covers.Woodson's writing is beautiful and sucks you right in. You want to grab a blanket to wrap around yourself, pull a sleepy kitten into your lap, and listen to her tell you how each moment of her life led her to her Juliet. You want to know if she and Toshi are still the ...
  • Kelly
    This is the first book of a series put out by Amazon of short, romantic stories. Each book is by a different author, and the books don't influence each other. I like the reflection on how different people in your past can impact the people you date in the future. At one point, it did seem to become just a long list of previous relationships, with the memory highlights. It is amazing the things you keep with you after a relationship ends and how t...
  • Jacquelyn J Tarpinian
    SHORT AND ENDED ABRUPTLYThis book explored the life growing up and becoming aware of being a lesbian and how she, as a black girl, was trying to figure out for years just exactly what and who she was. It is a subject about which I have read or experienced little but in this day and age, each of us has to be aware and informed of both sides of this subject....homosexuality, especially if we have been indoctrinated from a certain age that it is wro...
  • Clara E. Kparr
    Quick readFast read, 30 min on audio book, and about a good hour and half speed reading. Talks about her past lovers and how she feels carrying the unborn child, while on route to bury her grandmother whom had asked when she would give her a great grand. I guess it takes a death to realize how much of a better person we should have been towards all while they are a live, or while we transverse this thing called life.
  • Charles
    Before Her is about the life-defining moments and relationships of a woman before she met her wife and became a mother. It’s a ‘thank you’ note to all the ones who came before and shaped her into the woman she is today. It’s a quick read, and a decent start to Amazon’s short story collection, ‘The One.’ That said, it’s not as strong as some of the other entries in the collection.
  • Kim
    A Beautiful OdeMy first experience with this author who is universally adored. Now I know why. And I also know about those she adored as well. Extremely well-written. A very moving short piece. One of Amazon’s Original “The One” series, which was available for free. So glad I took the chance and downloaded it.
  • Olivia
    A wonderful short read I loved how this story is written. It is about this love of a girl but the author shares everything that lead her to where she ended up and I think that’s something amazing to think about, what and who lead you to where you are now, making you who you are now.
  • Jean
    Relationships evolve; maybe.This is a little, strangely written story of how family, friends and lovers can guide us through it all to the love of our life. I gave it 3 stars, but it is probably more 3.5 and by the timeI absorb what seems a stream of consciousness by the narrator, it might even be 4 stars.
  • Lydia Mann
    Lovely testament to living and lovingThis was an unexpected gem. I am so happy to have gotten to know a bit more about Ms. Woodson through her loves and friendships and her beloved Juliet. It’s a lovely testament to the joys of living and loving over time.
  • Barbara
    A joy to readMs. Woodson is a true wordsmith. Using language to shape her story in a manner that entices the reader. She is one of the rare writers who you want to read, whose style is poetic, lyrical,. The good & bad of her life is fascinating, leaving you wanting more.
  • Bookphile
    Woodson writes beautifully, but I think this memoir was too short and a little too light on details for me to have found it truly compelling. Still, this definitely makes me want to read more of her writing.
  • Kc
    I did not enjoy this story. I understand it was a short story, but it lacked any detail. It felt to me like a laundry list of lovers. The end.
  • Cyndy
    A truly short story that covers a little of the author's journey "Before Her" wife - "The One." (free prime read)
  • Betty Y McElroy
    DifferentIntroduction to a different life style. The search for the perfect partner.Life without that one feels like she was lost.
  • Richard
  • Greg
    Beautifully written, like all her work. Short but very sweet. I love the cover image and it’s connection to the story.
  • Emily
    Beautiful. This captures that feeling of not quite rightness and what it's like when you finally find what's right, even as it makes no logical sense.