After You

Friday, January 1, 2010

I asked for After You by Julie Buxbaum for Christmas and am so glad I did! I thought of this book as a sort of coming of mid-life-age story. It's not so much the typical mid-life crisis though. The book starts off when Ellie has left her husband and home near Boston, to attend to her goddaughter, Sophie, in Notting Hill. Sophie's mother, Lucy, was Ellie's best friend and was murdered in front of Sophie one morning while walking her to school. Ellie takes her role as godmother seriously and immediately takes over the motherly role in the household. But Ellie is also escaping from troubles in her own life and during her stay in Notting Hill she learns more about who she is and what she wants from her life.

I adored this beautifully written and mesmerizing story about a woman trying to decide who she is. The relationship between her and the child, Sophie, is endearing but causes tension between her and her husband when her stay lasts longer than expected. The characters felt genuine and their feelings real. I was able to empathize and understand some of what Ellie was feeling but at the same time I understood her husband's character. The narrative slowly revealed a little more about Lucy that changed how Ellie viewed her (I never really liked her character), but we also learn more about Ellie and what's made her who she is now. Although there are a couple plot points that add to the story, this is more about the characters; and they are characters I enjoyed watching progress throughout the story.

This was a very well done contemporary women's fiction and I highly recommend it!


Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

This sounds really good. Being a godparent is a very important job.!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I loved this book, too! Great review.

Julie said...

Thanks so much for the lovely and thoughtful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed AFTER YOU.

All the best,
Julie Buxbaum

Somewhere In Between said...

This was my favorite book of 2009. I adore Julie Buxbaum.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

What a beautifully written review, Jenny! You piqued my interest in this novel. I love the term "coming of midlife story." :-)

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