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Before We Died

Joan Schweighardt

In 1908 two Irish American brothers leave their jobs on the docks of Hoboken, NJ to make their fortune tapping rubber trees in the South American rainforest. They expect to encounter floods, snakes, malaria, extreme hunger and unfriendly competitors, but nothing prepares them for the psychological hurdles that will befall them. The first in a three-book "rivers" series, Before We Died is an adventure-filled literary novel set against the background of the South American rubber boom.



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“An exciting fictional account that explores the very real issues around the consequences of greed and misunderstanding between cultures. Schweighardt’s story happened with rubber tappers a century ago; it continues today around oil, lumber, cattle, soy, and the mining of crystals and other resources. This book, besides being a good read, is a wake-up call!”

John Perkins, New York Times Bestselling Author 

Before We Died explores the complexities of the relationship between two Irish-American brothers who embark on an Amazonian adventure fraught with peril. With her signature blend of literary elegance and heart-thrilling suspense, Schweighardt weaves an enticing, early twentieth-century tale of passion, greed and sacrifice which will leave readers reaching for the next novel in the Rivers series.”

—Kristen Harnisch, author of The Vintner's Daughter and The California Wife


“An unforgettable expedition … Superb!”


“With great skill, Schweighardt brings to magnificent life the colors, smells and sounds of Amazonia in this compelling tale of love, loss, and honest men butting heads with privilege and greed.”

—Damian McNicholl, author of A Son Called Gabriel and The Moment of Truth

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