Thursday, April 26, 2012

Afterwards - Rosamund Lupton - Review AND Giveaway

I read Rosamund Lupton's debut novel 'Sister' last year. You may remember me raving about it - it was a fantastic read. (review here) I jumped at the chance to read her second novel - Afterwards.  Another absolutely brilliant read - one I would highly, highly recommend!

I was hooked from the opening paragraph of the prologue.

"I couldn't move, not even a little finger or a flicker of an eye. I couldn't open my mouth to scream....Only one thing for it, I said to myself, thinking of you, and I slipped out of the wrecked ship of my body into the black ocean."

Grace Covey is volunteering at the outdoor sports day at her son Adam's private school. Her older child Jenny is working inside as the school nurse that day. When a fire breaks out, Grace races to find her children. Knowing Jenny is still trapped in the building, Grace runs into the burning building. She finds her, but the two of them are terribly injured.  Cue prologue. Yes, Grace and Jenny are able to leave their ruined bodies. Now, anyone thinking this might be a mainly paranormal type of read is wrong.

Honestly, Afterwards is so many different reads. In the beginning I saw it strictly as a mystery. Grace and Jenny are able to follow along with the investigation into the fire - for it was arson. And Grace and Jenny cannot communicate with the 'outside' world.  Piece by piece, along with the victims, we are able to cobble together what really happened that day. There is much more to this fire than meets the eye. Lupton employs many twists and turns and some red herrings along the way that kept me guessing at the identity of the 'culprit' until the last few chapters.

But, in addition to the mystery is the deeper story - that of a mother, daughter, son, husband and father. Grace's love for her children is achingly beautiful, powerful and so poignant. (Hint - have tissues ready for the last few chapters - I finished the book with tears in my eyes)

Lupton uses a second person point of view that takes a bit of getting used to in the beginning, but it works for this story. I can't see it being told in any other fashion.  Once I finish writing a review, I head out on the net to see what others think. I was quite surprised to see there were mixed reviews on this book. For this reader, it was an absolutely addicting, stay up late read.

Rosamund Lupton read English Literature at Cambridge University. After a variety of jobs in London, including copy writing 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. You can find Lupton on Twitter and on Facebook.


 Check out what other bloggers on the TLC tour thought. And, thanks to the great folks at Crown Books I have a copy to giveaway. So if it sounds like your kind of read, simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada. Closes Sat. May 19.

29 comments:

Kay said...

Luanne, I have a copy so no need to enter me in the giveaway. That being said, I'm really excited to read your reactions to this book. It's coming up soon on my stack and I'm looking forward to it even more now. I really enjoyed SISTER when I read it last year. Nice review.

techeditor said...

I often have the same reaction you do when others' comments on a book I loved are mixed. I wonder, what's wrong with them that they didn't see what I did. What irritates me even more, though, is when a really, really horrid book gets good reviews. That makes me suspect that the reviewer didn't really read the book and/or is a friend of the author.

I've had good luck, though, when I trusted Amazon's best-of-the-month selections. This book, AFTERWARDS, is a best-of-the-month selection on Amazon. So I'm anxious to read it.

techeditor said...

I often have the same reaction you do when others' comments on a book I loved are mixed. I wonder, what's wrong with them that they didn't see what I did. What irritates me even more, though, is when a really, really horrid book gets good reviews. That makes me suspect that the reviewer didn't really read the book and/or is a friend of the author.

I've had good luck, though, when I trusted Amazon's best-of-the-month selections. This book, AFTERWARDS, is a best-of-the-month selection on Amazon. So I'm anxious to read it.

bermudaonion said...

This is the second rave review I've read of this book today. I must get my hands on a copy!

debbie said...

This sounds like such a good book,I would love to read it.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

traveler said...

Thanks for this great book and wonderful review. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I would enjoy this book greatly. Many thanks for this feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cathy said...

I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed this book as much as I did, Luanne!

Sherman said...

This book sounds like a great read.I just picked up "Sister" at a library book sale so will have to read it first!
bricksiam@yahoo.com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Book sounds great and SISTER is on my short list!

Angie said...

Sister is the next book on my pile to read so now I'm excited about it. It looks like I need to get my hands on this one as well!

Charleydog said...

Thank you for offering the book giveaway. I have never read a story by this author but it does sound interesting.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Martha Lawson said...

Sounds great! Your review has convinced me I need to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

bn100 said...

Very nice review. The book sounds very interesting.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I'd like to read this one since I read and really enjoyed her first novel, Sister. Please enter me into the draw: lily.keightley@rogers.com

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this thriller and tweet about it. Jtretin at aol dot com. @readsalways

justme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justme said...

Sounds like a great read! Was a pleasure to read your review =)
lotssafun@gmail.com

skkorman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm glad to see that this author didn't disappoint you this time around!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Second person, huh? Interesting. I've seen this a few times, now and though it creeps me out (the cover) it's still compelling...

Tiffany Drew said...

I've actually had my eye on this book for a little while now and your review only made me want to read it more. I haven't read anything else by this author yet so I'm hoping to have a new author to obsess over :)

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Maureen said...

It looks like a book I would enjoy.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

What a fabulous review! Did it really make you cry? :) I definitely would love a chance to win; if not, it's still on my to-buy list!

knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

Twisty J said...

Great review- and very too the point, which I like! Thank you for the chance to win a copy, as well.

twistingthelens@gmail.com

linsleo said...

Luanne I can't wait to read this book. It sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the post.

linsleo@bellsouth.net

Jo-Jo said...

Oh, I would love to read this book so please enter me!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

skkorman said...

Sounds like a good read—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

dlhaley said...

This book sounds so good. I would love to win it.