Monday, June 25, 2012


Title:  Afterwards
Author:  Rosamund Lupton
Publication Information:  Crown Publishers. 2011. 386 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book because I loved the first book (Sister) that I read by this author. This book came from the library.

Favorite Quote:  "Inside her rule-abiding, responsible, sensible persona there's a risk-taking, life-grabbing person. Maybe it's taken to her mid forties to let out her teenage self."

The story of Afterwards is narrated by a woman in a coma. Yes, a woman on the brink of death, in a coma. It is not flashbacks. It is narrated in present time by her soul or essence or being or whatever you want to call it as it floats outside her body. Sounds a little bizarre, right? Except that it turns out to be a pretty good story.

Grace has run into a burning building to save her daughter Jenny. Now, they both are in the hospital fighting for their lives. And their souls or essence or being or whatever you want to call it are together outside of their bodies. They both watch the story unfold - the reactions of those around them and the story of how that fire actually happened. They follow people, listen in on conversations, and learn things about themselves and others. Yet, they can't influence any of it. They cannot pass of the information they learn.

The story of the fire and the book comes to a somewhat predictable close but with interesting twists and turns and interesting character studies along the way. Periodically while reading this book, I stopped to think that it was odd listening to the narration from a person outside of herself. However, mostly, Grace and Jenny each became two distinct characters - their bodies that lay in a coma and the reality of who they were as they floated through this story.

The story became one of parenting and love - what would you do to protect those you love? How far would you go? What risks would you take? What choices would you make? What priorities would you set? So, a somewhat different narration but a really good story.

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