A surprisingly fresh and unique take on what happens before you're born. In "The Shop Before Life," Hughes examines the prelife through the eyes of a curious young woman named Faythe. For nearly two centuries she's been perfectly content to play pranks on her friends and just hang around, but after a chance encounter with two men who work in management; she's decided to try out a new adventure, being an apprentice in the shop before life. Now her life is almost too exciting; every day she learns something new and she gets to help customers choose the traits that they want to be born with. Bravery. Bad with Numbers. Slightly Modest. Bad Digestion. Dogged Determination. Joy. Always Late. Taller Than Normal. Generous Heart. Inappropriate Humor. Nimble. Heroic. Introvert. If you can think of a trait, you can find it at the shop. After customers have stocked up on what traits they want they journey to earth where you are born. Faythe gets to assist the customers under the Shopkeeper's watchful eye, but things aren't starting off so smooth. To start with, she signed a one thousand year contract and if the Shopkeeper doesn't warm up to Faythe, it's going to be a frosty millennium. But she can't help if she has questions and curiosity! What harm can knowledge do? The answer Faythe, soon discovers, is a lot. Funny, unique, and appealing; this was a more than enjoyable read!