Andrienne G. (Azusa, CA)
After the fall...it just falls
I enjoy books on infidelity because there is the potential for the whys. Not so much the "what" because, really, a kiss, a night in bed, flirtations etc. it doesn't matter. I like it that this book gets the reader into the minds of each of the characters. How exciting would it be to get all the juicy reasons to the question "why?" Unfortunately, Ladd is not much of a storyteller. Her sentences are short, abrupt, as if she just wants to blurt out the surprise as if the surprise is the thrill. I felt no sympathy for the characters whatsoever, the dialogue is so ordinary that I can't distinguish one voice from another. All the cliches are here, but none of the searing heartbreak of what it truly feels to be betrayed. I still found myself looking from the outside, not the other way around.
Valerie C. (Chico, CA)
Depressing Chick Literature
While this book is much more well written and has more depth than a "pop fiction" romance novel, it was still lacking something to take it significantly above that genre. I also found the irresistible attraction between the two philanderers hard to believe given the similarities of their personalities.
MaryEllen K. (Albany, NY)
After the Fall
I have to admit that I was feeling very disappointed throughout the first half of the book - it didn't seem to be living up to my expectations at all. However, once I got past all of the background and arrived at the problem around which the story was based, I must say that I actually became quite riveted! At this point the story really drew me in, and the author really was able to get into the minds and emotions of the 4 characters directly involved in the situation. The whole experience of reading the book completely turned around for me and I found that I wasn't able to put the book down. At the end, I felt that Ladd did a great job getting into the psychological aspects of how adultery affects both the cheating spouses as well as their unsuspecting partners.
Kathy H. (Eaton, OH)
Couldn't get to the end fast enough.......
I thought this book would never end. I didn't connect with it or the characters from the very beginning. Each chapter jumped from character to character and it was hard to keep them and their storyline separate. There just seemed to be much too much rationalizing about how and why they each did what they did. I don't know if this would be considered a romance novel but it truly left me cold.
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA)
Soap opera on paper
Like a good soap opera, Kylie Ladd's After the Fall held my attention - I wanted to know when the adulterous couple would get caught, and how much damage they would do - but gave me no sense of literary satisfaction. I didn't like the characters - even the "victims" were shallow and self-absorbed - and her constant switching of the narrator was at times confusing (It took a while before I was sure who was married to whom). The book was easy to read, the style crisp and clear, but if it had not been so, I'm not sure I would have bothered. Even if you are only looking for a "beach read," you can do better.
Patricia S. (Trevett, ME)
Tale of 2 couples
Although I found the book about an affair between 2 sets of friends to be interesting, it took me a while to get everyone's persona straight as the narrative flips between characters every page or two. Having been privy to other affairs, I felt the descriptions of the sexual cravings of Luke and Kate to be accurate, but the aftermath not as true to life. Had the 2 "innocent" members of the couples not been "workaholics", I don't think the affair would have existed so long. Kylie Ladd, the author does have a great gift for comedy as when she describes Luke being tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and I'd like to see her use these talents in another book.