Afterwards: Book summary and reviews of Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Afterwards

A Novel

by Rosamund Lupton

Afterwards
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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About this book

Book Summary

The school is on fire. Her children are inside.

Grace runs toward the burning building, desperate to reach them.

 In the aftermath of the devastating fire which tears her family apart, Grace embarks on a mission to find the person responsible and protect her children from further harm.  This fire was not an accident, and her daughter Jenny may still be in grave danger. Grace is the only one who can discover the culprit, and she will do whatever it takes to save her family and find out who committed the crime that rocked their lives.  While unearthing truths about her life that may help her find answers, Grace learns more about everyone around her - and finds she has courage she never knew she possessed.

Powerful and beautiful, with a riveting story and Lupton's trademark elegant style that made Sister such a sweeping success, Afterwards explores the depths of a mother's unswerving love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lupton's superb follow-up to Sister… The uncommon but convincing narrative technique, adroit twists, and memorable characters combine to provide a wise and poignant portrait of a family confronted with malice and heartbreaking decisions." - Publishers Weekly

"Despite excessive length and the sense of suffocation that can arise from Grace's interiorscape, this compulsive read confirms Lupton's instinctive commercial flair." - Kirkus Reviews

"Anyone who loves thrillers should take a look." - Library Journal

"Afterwards is an exceptional literary thriller that resonates with depth and despair. It's got it all: a gripping plot with twists and turns, a horrific crime, and a beautiful love story layered into the fine fabric of a family, who are torn apart by a devastating betrayal." - Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing and Never Knowing

"In Afterwards, we see a master's touch on every page. Uncompromising emotional impact, a poet's sonorous style and a gripping story all come together to make this a transcendent literary experience. I guarantee this novel will touch everyone." - Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of Carte Blanche and Edge

The information about Afterwards shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. 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 of this book 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.

Reader Reviews

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Roni S. (Pittsburgh, PA)

Afterwards
I read and enjoyed Rosamund Lupton’s first book, “Sister.” “Afterwards” is a beautifully written thriller mystery that graps you from the first page. The book explores family relationships. You care about the characters. It is written from an “out of body” view as the main character is unconscious in the hospital but able to leave her body and travel. I am not fond of science fiction but enjoyed reading this book. It is similar to “Lovely Bones.” I look forward to reading the author’s next book.

Mary M. (Lexington, KY)

Fascinating
This book was similar to "The Lovely Bones" but much better. It combines a mystery that will keep you guessing till the end with a story about a family and a mother's love for her children. Having the mother who is in a coma narrate the story makes the book unusual in a good way. The descriptions of how the mother and daughter feel as they move about outside their bodies are very imaginative and well written. I really enjoyed the book and plan to recommend to my friends.

Elly M. (Roswell, NM)

Afterward
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.

Corinne S. (Paoli, PA)

Afterwards
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.

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

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.

...20 more reader reviews

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Rosamund Lupton read English Literature at Cambridge University. After a variety of jobs in London, including copywriting and reviewing for the Literary Review, she was a winner of Carlton Television's new writers' competition and was selected by the BBC for a place on their new writers' course. She was also invited to join the Royal Court Theatre's writers group. Before becoming a novelist, she was a script-writer for television and film, writing original screenplays. She lives in London with her husband, two children and Tango, a large ginger cat.

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