After You'd Gone Author:Maggie O'Farrell Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they w... more »ait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.
"It's the depiction of . . . deceptively small moments that is O'Farrell's winning gift. . . . Her absorbing characters gracefully circle one another 'round the room like moths at the light bulb,' grazing their wings against life's raw heat instead of being consumed by it." (The New York Times Book Review)
"After You'd Gone is beautifully written contemporary fiction." (Edna O'Brien, The Sunday Times)« less
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Loved this book - a definite keeper. I could feel the main characters pain as she was going thru the things that happened to her. This is not something I can say for every book I read, unfortunately. Read this in 2 sittings. Just could not put it down.
Do not give up on this book. I almost put it down, as I struggled to get into it at first, but it turned out to be absolutely fantastic. The back of the book described a tragic love, so I knew the results could not have been good, but the book is so cleverly crafted that I kept reading expecting that the back cover lied to me. Amazing, amazing book.
I suffered through this read hoping it would get better but it did not. It just droned on and on. The characters seemed pathetic and not connected - not terribly developed. The story itself was very choppy, flashing back and forth between histories of a mother, Ann, and daughter, Alice, as well as what Alice is thinking while in a coma. A lot of extraneous dialogue not helpful for the flow of the story. For me the authors "voice" was not only offputting but unpleasant. Overall, this book seemed like it was written by a 7th grader just learning how to put together the parts of a story.
This is a well written book and the descriptions she provides are perfectly done. It is told in an interesting way. We know the main character is in the hospital but we keep moving between the hospital and earlier parts of her life. But it isn't as good as her first book The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox.
Maggie O'Farrell's story was difficult to get into at first. Jumping time lines and points of view with little or no indication between paragraphs that the time line has changed. Patient readers will be rewarded by Part 2 when the story hits its stride. The story of Alice is about a wonderful love affair, a tragedy and a deceptive family history. Very emotional and satisfying read.