24 November 2022

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz Review!


This is not just another novel about a dead girl. Two women—one alive, one dead—are brought together in the dark underbelly of New York City to solve a tragic murder.

When she arrived in New York on her eighteenth birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe. She may be dead but that doesn’t mean her story is over.

Meanwhile, Ruby Jones is also trying to reinvent herself. After travelling halfway around the world, she’s lonelier than ever in the Big Apple. Until she stumbles upon a woman’s body by the Hudson River, and suddenly finds herself unbreakably tied to the unknown dead woman.

Alice is sure Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her short life and tragic death. Ruby just wants to forget what she saw…but she can’t seem to stop thinking about the young woman she found. If she keeps looking, can she give this unidentified Jane Doe the ending and closure she deserves?

A “heartbreaking, beautiful, and hugely important novel” (Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author), Before You Knew My Name doesn’t just wonder whodunnit—it also asks who was she? And what did she leave behind?

Jacqueline ‘Rock’ Bublitz is a writer, feminist, and arachnophobe, who lives between Melbourne, Australia and her hometown on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

She wrote her debut novel Before You Knew My Name after spending a summer in New York, where she hung around morgues and the dark corners of city parks (and the human psyche) far too often.

She is now working on her second novel, where she continues to explore the grand themes of love, loss and connection.


My Thoughts

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueling Bublitz is a unique story about two young women. One who was murdered and one that found her dead body. 

Alice Lee is a young midwestern girl who left her home after a disastrous affair with an artist. She leaves all she knows to move to New York to start anew. Roughly a month or so after she arrives, settles into her home with Noah, an elderly gent who takes her in and is just starting to get her life in order. One day while in a park, she is murdered while taking pictures. It was her desire to be a professional photographer.

The other woman is Ruby Jones, a woman who came across the ocean from Australia to also get away from an unfortunate affair. While jogging one day in the park, she comes across Alice's (still at this time a Jane Doe) body by the river. She had been beaten, raped. So, the book is about these two women, Alice still around to hopefully help Ruby figure out who the murderer is.

Ruby keeps thinking about poor Alice even joins a Death Club whose members all have suffered a loss of some type. It is a group that gets together to talk about what happened to them. One day Ruby is at the river, she often goes back to the scene of the crime, just to try to understand, when a man by the name of Tom starts talking to her. They strike up a sort of friendship, but Ruby is just not so sure about him, not ready to trust him.

This novel in my mind was very intense, the stories of the two women even though there was a 15-year age difference between them there were a lot of similarities. Both of them coming from disastrous affairs. Alice from a rough childhood so much that she is attracted to a man who promises her the moon. Ruby was involved in a man who was going to get married and would not commit to Ruby.

The murder of Alice brought both these women's stories together. Ruby is determined to find out who murdered Alice. I found the novel to be very sad but uplifting at the same time. Each woman has a story to tell, and the author does it beautifully.  I really enjoyed it once I got used to the pace of the story.

I definitely give the book 5 stars

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only

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