Before We Were Innocent: Reese's Book Club (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Reese’s Book Club Pick December 2023
A summer in Greece for three best friends ends in the unthinkable when only two return home. . . .
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 needs a favor, and when she turns up at her old friend's doorstep asking for an alibi, Bess has no choice but to say yes. She still owes her. But as the two friends try desperately to shake off their past, they have to face reality.
Can you ever be an innocent woman when everyone wants you to be guilty?
About the Author
Ella Berman grew up in both London and Los Angeles, and worked at Sony Music before writing her first novel, The Comeback. She lives in London with her husband, James, and their dog, Rocky.
“Two BFFs are accused of murder in this novel that feels like true crime.”
“Ella Berman reveals a teenage girl’s heart of darkness in her absorbing new novel. . . . 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
“It’s a compulsive thriller, and you won’t want to put down Berman’s second book.”
“Slices to the core of a fraught friendship on the brink of disaster.”
“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.”
—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. . . . A haunting and dazzling page-turner.”
—Laura Hankin, author of A Special Place for Women
“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.”
—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.”
“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
“A page-turning thriller, with twists and turns, to keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a perfect spring novel for fans of this genre.”
—Red Carpet Crash