Before We Were Innocent (Hardcover)

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Before We Were Innocent (Hardcover)


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A summer in Greece for three best friends ends in the unthinkable when only two return home in this new novel from Ella Berman. . . .

Ten years ago, after a sun-soaked summer spent in Greece, best friends Bess and Joni were cleared of having any involvement in their friend Evangeline’s death. But that didn’t stop the media from ripping apart their teenage lives like vultures.

While the girls were never convicted, Joni, ever the opportunist, capitalized on her newfound infamy to become a motivational speaker. Bess, on the other hand, resolved to make her life as small and controlled as possible so she wouldn’t risk losing everything all over again. And it almost worked. . . .

Except now Joni is tangled up in a crime eerily similar to that one fateful night in Greece. And when she asks Bess to come back to LA to support her, Bess has a decision to make.

Is it finally time to face up to what happened that night, exposing herself as the young woman she once was and maybe still is? And what if she doesn’t like what she finds?
Ella Berman grew up in both London and Los Angeles and worked at Sony Music before starting the clothing brand London Loves LA. She lives in London with her husband, James, and their dog, Rocky. 
Product Details ISBN: 9780593099544
ISBN-10: 0593099540
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 384
Language: English
“Ella Berman reveals a teenage girl’s heart of darkness in her absorbing new novel. By braiding together a past tragedy and a present mystery, Berman explores longing, loneliness, female friendship and blind trust, and illustrates how impulsive decisions made by our younger selves can haunt us as adults. Written with the urgency and thrill of an illicit secret, Before We Were Innocent captures the pleasures and perils of American girlhood.”
Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of When We Were Bright and Beautiful

"Berman's an expert at the small moment, the Austen-esque tragicomedy of unspoken human desire that compounds into something too big to name, too awful to ignore."
Sarah Langan, author of Good Neighbors

“The past refuses to stay dead in this stunning story of friendship, memory, and guilt from master storyteller Ella Berman…It brilliantly illustrates the vulnerability and cruelty of teenage girls—and how the judgments placed on them create the perfect environment for both to flourish. It brought me right back to my teenage years and cracked my heart open. A profound exploration of loyalty and betrayal, Before We Were Innocent is a perfect book.”
Rachel Kapelke-Dale, author of The Ballerinas

Before We Were Innocent takes a scenario we've seen in news reports — young women abroad, falsely accused of a horrific crime — and gives it all the nuance and empathy that the media never bothered with. Ella Berman is a master at depicting teenage friendships in both their beauty and their brutality. A haunting and dazzling page-turner, Before We Were Innocent kept me up well past midnight.”
Laura Hankin, author of A Special Place for Women

"[A] fascinating portrayal of the complicated friendships between teenage girls, and what happens when they grow up. Berman expertly weaves together the past and the present to create a suspenseful, spellbinding story about lies, betrayal, and what happens when the truth catches up with you. I loved it."
Elissa R. Sloan, author of The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes

“With evocative and astute prose, Berman’s sophomore effort is a…searing portrayal of the intoxicating power of privilege, youth, and female friendship.”

“This tale of how the emotional bonds forged in youth can define people’s lives long afterward will resonate with many.”
Publishers Weekly

“Captivating - a rich exploration of the complexity of female friendships with a compelling mystery at its heart."
T. Greenwood, author of Such a Pretty Girl