Last week you could read about my mixed feelings about ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ and this week I will tell you a bit more about the third book we read with our book club: ‘Afterwards’ from Rosamund Lupton.
I looked forward to reading this book as the summary really appealed to me… so read on the see what I thought about it!
Afterwards – Summary (no spoilers)
There’s a fire at the school of Grace and Michael’s son. As soon as Grace realizes that Jenny, her 17 year old daughter, is in the building, she runs inside to rescue her.
Grace as well as Jenny come out alive… barely. And then they find out it wasn’t just a fire that broke out… it was arson. Grace can’t find any rest before she knows who was responsible for this crime.
Afterwards – My thoughts on this book (no spoilers)
This book is classified as a thriller, but I didn’t actually think it was a thriller. You could say it is a whodunit, as they try to find out who started the fire, but this book is so much more than a whodunit…
But how would you classify it then?! Well I personally would say this is a drama… a very intense drama… one that grips you from the start!
In ‘Afterwards’, Grace tells the story about about her family. She lets you find out what happened the day of the fire and with the use of flashbacks, she also brings you back to the weeks and months before that horrible day. She takes you into the burning building and also on her journey to find out who was responsible for the fire.
It is a story about love and courage, family and friends and what a mother would do for the people close to her heart.
The point of view in which this novel is written (which I won’t spoil here!), is slightly different than your usual novel. In fact, it isn’t actually possible, but that didn’t bother me at all as I was hooked on the storyline from the beginning.
The first couple of chapters are written in a very thrilling way. Because of the short sentences and alineas, you feel hounded and you instantly want to know more about the fire and the arsonist.
The love a mother feels for her children is beautifully depicted and the author uses flashbacks and metaphors to make it all just that bit clearer and more understandable.
Perhaps I am particularly attracted to this book because I am a mother myself. Like Grace I have kids that are growing up way too fast and that’s probably why I could really connect with her.
I loved reading this book. The story really got to me and to be honest, when I got to the last chapters, I just couldn’t keep it dry…
Afterwards – The book club (contains some spoilers!)
As our book club is a mixture of young and not so young, I was really curious to find out what the other members thought of this read… especially my own daughter… Did she connect with Jenny as well as I connected with Grace??
Here are some points that came out of our discussion:
- Most of us really enjoyed reading ‘Afterwards’.
- Concerning the point of view/the paranormal approach:
- Most of us liked this paranormal approach.
- There was a comment that in the beginning of the novel, the point of view wasn’t really believable. For instance the first paranormal encounter between mother and daughter is quite ordinary… a bit like ‘Oh hey, are you here too?!’ Luckily this got better each chapter!
- Some of us had issues that the paranormal approach wasn’t described with a lot of details. For instance: Grace reads a police report consisting of several pages, but doesn’t anyone of the people in the room see the pages move?! For me that wasn’t an issue at all, on the contrary, if this would have been described more detailed, it would have distracted me from the real story and my lovely colleague Katrien backed me on this one 🙂
- One of our members really struggled reading this novel. It really wasn’t her thing, she just couldn’t get into the story! She did finish it however, so hats off for that effort Greet 🙂
- We did ask ourselves some questions:
- Could you really force yourself to die?
- Would you be able to smell things when in a coma, would these smells bring back memories?
- Will the survivor have a special connection with the person that died for her?
- When you would be in Grace’s shoes, would you try to solve the mystery of the fire or would you want to spend as much time as possible with your daughter?
And my daughter? Well, she really connected more with the mother than with the daughter! And she really loved the book as well 🙂
Afterwards – Score
‘Afterwards’ really got us thinking and this book got a well deserved 8,21/10. (Personally I gave it a 9/10 as I really loved it!)
Our next book is ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn, another book I am looking forward to reading! I also want to see the movie… recently it was shown on televsion but I didn’t want to watch as I want to read the book first…