"The visible world isn't the only world, and the writers of fairy tales and ghost stories, mystics and philosophers, have known that for centuries."

Random Observation: A Reader's Respite has no idea what the photo of the playground slide is doing on the cover of this novel because there is nothing about a slide or a playground actually in this novel.

There is, however, a school in this novel.  Well, a burnt down school.  And that is the event we begin with - the event that puts Grace and her teenage daughter, Jenny, in the hospital with severe, life-threatening injuries.  But the story doesn't really begin until Grace and Jenny find themselves *outside* their bodies, watching all of the life-saving activities surrounding them.  Are you going to have to suspend belief for this one?  You bet.  Does it work?  You bet.

As Grace and Jenny, visible only to each other, hang around the hospital watching family, friends, and law enforcement come and go, it quickly becomes apparent that the fire that put them there was not an accident. Being invisible does have it's perks:  Grace and Jenny are able to piece together the story long before those characters still inhabiting their own bodies - including the reader - do.

The story is suspenseful and the pages turn quickly throughout this thriller.  Lupton weaves a mystery into a thriller, all the while keeping touch with the threads that hold a family together.  Our only complaint might lay in the "wrapping it up" department.  In throwing far too many red herrings at the reader, we were rather ready to get it over with already.

Sheesh, there's only so many times you can name a killer only to reveal that it was actually someone else.  Lupton did this about three too many times for our taste.

Aside from that, the novel was a fast, gripping read told from a - admit it - very unique point of view.  I'd recommend it, but only after you've finished reading the Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist.

Title: Afterwards
Author:  Rosamund Lupton
Publisher:  Crown
Pages: 386
Source:  Library Copy (gee, surprise)

Rating:  We'll say 4 stars.  Might have rated higher if a few red herrings were left in the bait tin.


  1. Why is it so easy to suspend disbelief with some books and not with others? This sounds right up my alley!

  2. I can suspend belief pretty easily, but I get very twitchy when there are too many red herrings. It is manipulative and annoying. I do not like being played with. That cover has always been very appealing to me...spooky.

  3. I like a good thriller, thanks for the honest and insightful review.

  4. Sounds like a good one! I hate it when book covers have nothing to do with the book inside.

  5. I love loved her book Sister although I can totally understand about the end. There was a twist at the end of that book too that I thought a tad unnecessary but overall I really enjoyed her writing. I'll probably pick this one up just because I liked Sister so much.


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