From Publishers Weekly
A widower, suddenly bereft, finds an unexpected future when he goes to Amsterdam looking for his past in Lent's intricate and rewarding fourth novel. Henry Dorn is an upright college professor whose relatively tranquil existence is upended when his wife and son are killed in a car accident in the 1920s. As the novel follows Henry in flashbacks to before and after the crash, we get a closeup view of the loss of innocence of a person and a world. Henry's relationship with his son, a morphine-addicted WWI veteran, had grown deeply fraught, while glimpses of Henry's childhood in Nova Scotia reveal a hardscrabble fishing family torn apart. After the accident, Henry travels to Amsterdam to research his family history, and an unexpected affair kicks off a period of indulgence on a continent whose need for postwar recovery matches his own psychic wounds. At times, the dialogue can feel wooden, but the narrative's course back and forth through time and across the Atlantic creates an aura of mystery and tension that's amplified by Lent's vivid depiction of the era. It's a nice contrast to the aimless youngsters often associated with the lost generation canon. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
All the wonders of the heart and mind are in [Lent's] new novel. With unequalled skill and sensitivity, Jeffrey Lent offers us a profound understanding of the how and why we get through our good days and our bad days.”Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World
I had a curious and fascinating experience with Jeffrey Lent’s After You’ve Gone. I read it three months ago and then let it slip in and out of my consciousness without beckoning it. Like all good novels, After You’ve Gone will become part of your life. The triumph is the quality of Lent’s prose.”Jim Harrison
Strong, thoughtful . . . skillfully multilayered . . . The novel’s prose is . . . gorgeous.”Kirkus Reviews