Elly M. (Roswell, NM)
This is a compelling novel that captures interest at the prologue's first line and never lets go. The use of a first person "semi-spirit" voice from our protagonist personalized all of the novel's "residents", pulling the reader well into their world.
"Afterwards" is an emotional and thrilling account of family and friends and tragedy and love...a mystery that prods one to keep the pages turning. It not only brings us to an unpredictable climax, but gives birth to thoughts about which we all wonder as we approach the "afterwards".
I would, and have, recommended it to many friends.
Susan Q. (East Williston, NY)
A Good Choice
I found this book very easy to get into right from the beginning. The characters are well developed and the plot kept my attention. Although I found the ending to be predictable, it will be a good book club pick as there are a few twists and good conversation issues.
Corinne S. (Paoli, PA)
Rosamund Lupton, author of (Sister, 2011), begins the book with thick black smoke billowing from, the British private school, Sidley House, where Grace’s son, Adam, attends. While most of the students are outside for “sports day,” Grace realizes that she does not see her daughter, Jenny, who is the student assistant in the nurse’s office for sports day. Jenny is still in the school! The tension and anxiety escalates as Grace races across the lawn and plunges into the burning building to save Jenny. Now, you are hooked and begin turning the pages to find out if Grace can save Jenny. Next, Grace wakes up in a hospital and is unable to move or open her eyes. Lupton, uses and out-of-body experience for Grace to investigate what happened. During Graces search for the truth, she sees Jenny’s spirit hovering in the same state, and has found out from eavesdropping, the fire was arson not an accident. The paranormal observation is similar to Alice Seabold’s book “The Lovely Bones.” The ability to move around the hospital and investigate the arson with Jenny allows Grace to reflect on the mother-daughter relationship, family, best friends, and just how far are you willing to go to save your child’s life, which reminds me of Lisa Scottoline’s book “Save Me.” You will partner with Grace and Jenny as you speed through this excellent read in search of the arsonist. Book groups will enjoy discussing this book.
Elizabeth W. (Newton, MA)
Of two minds . . .
Rosamund Lipton's Afterwards is a well-written, riveting novel. The characters are engaging; although the twists and turns of the whodunnit plot are surprising, they are believable. Nonetheless, as much as I enjoyed the fast-paced, readable book, I ended up of two minds about it. Why? The two main characters are disembodied souls of critically injured patients, and that situation felt somewhat forced and prevented me from becoming immersed in the story. I do, however, recommend it as a fun read that touches on a variety of current social issues.
Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)
A Great Mystery Story - Plus More!
When I started to read this book, my first thought was “…. A Lovely Bones influence, but can Lupton keep it believable?” I must say: Yes. This was a terrific book! If you are thinking it’s an “angel” book, stop right there. This is a murder-mystery, a story of a mother-daughter bond and the tribulations a family goes through AND hangs together during the toughest of times. The reading is very quick and I found myself thinking of the book when I had quiet times during my day. I wanted to find out what happens next. The mark of a very good story, if you ask me. OK, some may be able to predict the ending, but, “Who Cares?” It doesn’t detract from a great story that never lost its footing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! 5 Stars from San Diego.
Marylou C. (Fountain HIls, AZ)
Believe in Out of Body.....or Not
If you are unsure about out of body experiences, this author will challenge you to decide. Compelling is not a strong enough word, as once you start the book, her style and cadence will not let you put it down. A great “Book Club” book as it will promote a very lively discussion. This book can bring you to tears, laughter and deep thoughts. You will have a problem putting it down
Shelly B. (STATEN ISLAND, NY)
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
The story is interesting, I wanted to know what would happen at the end. I enjoyed Rosamund's imagery, two examples are: P161 - "I'd seen each medical fact ... hitting her face like flying glass, cutting new lines." P381 - ..."A guest still at the table when the hosts are washing up the kitchen".
This type of writing added to the enjoyment of reading the book.
But, I think overall the story was a bit soapy in Grace's wanting to keep her daughter a teenager and not giving up control. She was not letting Jenny find her own different way.
For me, the vocabulary was too British, that is, too many words and phrases to figure out.
In addition, her pronoun use was very confusing.
I wasn't always sure who the speakers were at times. It took me a few sentences to realize who she was talking about.
Overall though, I enjoyed the book, and the story line was interesting. I kept trying to guess the ending.
My final say is I probably would not recommend this for a book club selection. Although I'm not unhappy I read this book
I would give the book a 3.5 rating.