Review by CTdeF -- Life Before by K.L. Romo

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CTdeF
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Review by CTdeF -- Life Before by K.L. Romo

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[Following is a volunteer review of "Life Before" by K.L. Romo.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Elaine is having difficulty adjusting to middle age. Having an out-of-body experience through her computer screen doesn’t help matters any. Things get really hairy when Elaine finds herself experiencing the life of a turn-of-the century Texas prostitute. To make matters more interesting, it seems that Eliza, the prostitute, is just one of Elaine’s thousand past lives. What does the past have to teach Elaine? Can Elaine handle the answer?

Life Before by K.L. Romo was an imaginative twist to the mid-life crisis scenario. What better way to avoid it altogether than a bit of past life channeling? Both Elaine and Eliza had fascinating lives and as a result, the book was a great read.

Although prostitution is the oldest profession, not a lot has been written about its history. While I knew that women in this trade were discriminated against by society, I didn’t realize that there was a hierarchy within the ranks. Nor was I aware of the existence of cribs, single rooms, each housing one prostitute kept under lock and key. It was interesting for me to find that the Virginia K. Johnson Home and Training Center for Women was an actual site. However, it did not open until 1911, several years after the events in the story.

There were a number of plural versus apostrophe errors (boo-boo’s, what if’s, have’s and have-not’s) and several word choice errors (pruning feathers rather than preening feathers, lied there rather than lay there, please rather than pleas) that detracted from the story. Some of the colloquial speech was also forced. For instance, the phrase “dad-gum” wasn’t coined until the 1940s, decades after the story setting.

I also disliked the sections of story repetition. I understand the overlapping scenes were intended to show how Elaine and Eliza were experiencing the same event. However, once I had read the passage, I wasn’t interested in reading it a second time, not even from a different viewpoint.

Although I enjoyed Life Before by K.L. Romo, because of the errors mentioned above, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars and not a perfect 4-star review.

Since Eliza was a working girl, there were sexually explicit scenes. Keeping that in mind, Life Before by K.L. Romo may not be for everyone. Otherwise, the story was interesting, the characters were well-developed, and it was a fun read!

******
Life Before
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