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Afterlife

by Julia Alvarez

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez X
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Apr 7, 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Christine P. (Essex Junction, VT)
    Afterlife
    This book spoke to me and I loved it. From the loss of a spouse and her identity, to the complexities of family dynamics, and the question of how to deal and engage with a world run amok, the author explored my reality and concerns with kindness and humor. I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be recommending this book to my book group — a lot to chew on. Oh, and did I mention I also live in Vermont.
  • Nancy K. (Perrysburg, OH)
    Small book that is filled with wisdom
    Antonia, a retired English Professor, is recently windowed. She is doing her best to move forward in life but troubles and memories keep piling up. Her troubled sister is missing, a young pregnant Mexican immigrant begs for Antonia's help and what can Antonia do to help or better yet what should she do.

    Powerful questions that will appeal to any Book Club members that choose to read this book which I hope they do. The author makes you laugh and cry as she tells this story. I highly recommend this book!
  • Julie R. (Woodland, CA)
    Afterlife
    In the book Afterlife, our main character Antonia Vega is trying to deal with the sudden loss of her husband, Sam, when life throws her a several curve balls, retirement, an older sister with mental health issues goes missing, sibling drama, and an undocumented teen at her doorstep.

    Antonia admits that she is not the best person to deal with these problems and out of the two of them; Sam was the one to jump in and help others in need. Throughout the book we see how Antonia uses her memories of Sam and what he would have done in those situations to help others. I loved Sam's mother saying "Let's see what love can do".

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to my book club.
  • Shelley S. (Great Neck, NY)
    Afterlife by Julia Alverez
    Afterlife is a thoughtful, nuanced book whose title conveys the great changes in its characters' identities - only some associated with death and mourning and others with longing and an immigrant's sense of being "other". Antonia has relied on words and literature to guide her and her frequent quotes reflect her life before the loss of her husband and her retirement. Her journey away from being the stable rule follower to bold and illegal acts feels credible and powerful. The external challenges and crises which arise stimulate the need to move forward which she ultimately can do successfully. The writing is poignant at times and sharply political at others. I would very much recommend this book which used subtlety and emotional detail to tell a complex multifaceted and often sad story.
  • Rosanne S. (Franklin Square, NY)
    Afterlife
    I have read and enjoyed Alvarez's books before but none were as impactful as this. She authentically portrays all the emotions one feels after losing someone they truly love. I believe that anyone who has had a current loss will appreciate her approach to understanding how difficult a period of life it is.

    Her approach to the present day suffering of immigrants in this country gives insight to how awful it is for the migrant trying to survive. To date, I haven't read anything written from their point of view.

    She struggles with many issues and thinks to herself that it would be easier to just not get involved. I am sure that many in society today are taking the same approach. Afterlife makes the reader think about not what is right or wrong but about what is important and humane.

    I highly recommend Afterlife not to just the grieving reader but to the socially confused one as well.
  • Sandra L. (Delray Beach, FL)
    Afterlife
    On surface, a very easy read. Antonia is reeling from her husband's death. She looks to him for guidance through the many upsets in her life.

    Having lost a Mom and two siblings within the past 3 years, I too have found great comfort in 'mind-talking' to them thus keeping them 'alive' thru the afterlife. I guess we all do that...

    This novel is filled with ethical questions left for the reader to answer and would be suitable for book clubs. Loved the ending!
  • Elizabeth K. (Naples, FL)
    Afterlife
    Life goes on. Perhaps differently than one's master plan. After newly retired college professor Antonia's husband, Sam suddenly dies, she faces living her shattered life. She finds herself facing many side shows. There is a strong Latino bond of sisterhood with her three scattered sisters. Heartbreaking decisions must be made without dishonoring a sister's turf.

    What does she do when an undocumented young girl shows up at her door? How can she protect other undocumented men who live in her area?

    Life as she once knew it is shattered, but it can go on in a different way after it is put back together.
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