'At once tough and tender, funny and sad, this beautifully written novel articulates the dynamic realities of those wondrous friendships that last a lifetime.' (Siri Hustvedt)Anna, Molly, Ming, Caroline, Helen: the Old Friends.Since adopting their official name aged eleven, they have seen each other through careers, children, illnesses, marriage, divorce, addiction, fame, fall outs.But now, Anna - fiercely loved mother and friend, and the Old Friends' glue - is diagnosed with cancer again, and this time, tired of recoveries and relapses, pitying looks and exhausting regimes, she simply says: no more.As her health declines, the politics of the still lived-in world merge with memories of the past while each Old Friend tries to accept the truth of what is happening: they are losing someone they cannot imagine life without.Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of wonderful women. End of sixth grade they made it their official name. It was a joke one afternoon but they liked the way it sounded. Permanent. The Old Friends. This way, the five girls agree, it's just a fact. And ours forever.