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After You'd Gone: Book summary and reviews of After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell

After You'd Gone

by Maggie O'Farrell

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell X
After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2001
    372 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A young woman named Alice Raikes boards a train to Scotland to visit her family. But when she arrives, she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London that very minute. Only a few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt.

With Alice's life hanging in the balance, her family gathers at her bedside. As they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions rise to the surface. The more they talk, the more, it seems, they conceal from each other. Alice, meanwhile, sliding between different levels of consciousness, recalls her past and a recent love affair. Skipping around in time, knitting together the different points of view with astonishing dexterity and beautiful prose, Maggie O'Farrell has created a story of love and family relationships that is reminiscent of the very best of Edna O'Brien and Mary Gordon. With one of the most heart-stopping openings in modern fiction, After You'd Gone is a work of extraordinary psychological depth and impressive maturity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"It is hard to believe that such an assured work comes from a first novelist ... Published originally in the UK to good reviews, it should appeal to fans of Mary Gordon and Margaret Atwood, though it will draw a more popular audience than the latter." - Library Journal.

"Sharply observed details of everyday life and language, original and telling figures of speech and deftly handled plot twists reach a moving climax, while subtly raising the question of whether the objects of Alice's affection - and the sources of her agony - were worth enduring." - Publishers Weekly.

"The complex structure works beautifully, communicating the shared and interlocking sufferings of the Raikes women through its carefully worked-out layering of narrative lines. Often painful to read, but finally quite satisfying." - Kirkus Reviews.

This information about After You'd Gone shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Maggie O'Farrell Author Biography

Double Vision

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I am I am I am, and eight novels: After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions for a Heatwave, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, This Must Be The Place, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and Hamnet. She lives in Edinburgh.

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Other books by Maggie O'Farrell at BookBrowse
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  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox jacket
  • The Hand that First Held Mine jacket

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