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Afterwards: A Novel Paperback – April 2, 2013


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Price for both: $19.47

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307716554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307716552
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: After Grace drags her teenage daughter, Jenny, from the inferno that engulfs her school, they awake in the hospital and find themselves outside of their damaged bodies. Only they can see or hear each other, a state that becomes more agonizing once Graze realizes that the police are calling the case closed, while whoever set the blaze still wants Jenny dead. Fiercely determined to protect her daughter, aching to bring comfort to her husband and son, Grace races to find the perpetrator and make them known. Like Lupton’s celebrated debut, Sister--an Amazon editors’ pick for a Best Books of 2011--this twisty, inventive thriller delivers a powerful portrayal of a woman’s love for family transcending all boundaries. –Mari Malcolm --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A bold, impossible-to-categorize, and riveting blend of psychological suspense, literary thriller and the paranormal…Afterwards proves that Lupton isn't just good — she's wickedly good."
Seattle Times

“A gripping novel.”
—New York Times Book Review

“Lupton’s finely wrought portrait of motherly love is genuinely moving.”
Boston Globe

“Readers...will be equally smitten with Afterwards, as much an homage to the mother-daughter relationship as it is a crime novel...There are so many twists, turns and heartbreaks in this tragic, tense novel.”
USA Today
 
“With its hint of a Jodi Picoult family saga blended with an eerie Ruth Rendell mystery, Afterwards should appeal to readers of both genres.”
BookPage

“Lupton takes her readers on a totally harrowing ride as she melds a suspenseful procedure with an emotionally fraught drama. Within a taut and sinuous narrative, heartbreak over a broken family vies with fear that the arsonist will return…Masterful pacing and a highly charged atmosphere combine to make this an exceptionally gripping read.” 
Booklist, starred review

“Lupton's dexterity at handling the subplots and possible suspects is dazzling. … Lupton creates such lovely, believable feelings in all of her characters…that what's ostensibly a supernatural story feels very, very human.”
—Oprah.com

“Excellent and full of plot twists.”
The Daily American

"Lupton’s superb follow-up to Sister…The uncommon but convincing narrative technique, adroit twists, and memorable characters combine to provide a wise and poignant portrait of a family confronted with malice and heartbreaking decisions.” 
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A wonderful mix of smart thriller with tear-provoking literature; a fine blend of Jodi Picoult and P.D. James…Lupton has written a riveting story that will resonate with readers long after they have turned the last page.”
Library Journal, starred review
 
“A full-throttle psychological thriller, ring-fenced by a mother’s love…With each turn of the page, Lupton seems to add another element and motive to the mix…This compulsive read confirms Lupton’s instinctive commercial flair.”
Kirkus

"The author of the outstanding Sister has done it again - in fact she's outdone herself. It's hard to come up with enough superlatives to do justice to Afterwards, a brilliant mystery where the two key investigators are both in a coma....Rush out to get a copy - and add Sister too if you haven't discovered it yet. They are both brilliant reads.”
—Bookloons.com

“Rosamund Lupton (Sister) offers up an intricately plotted combination of thriller, speculative fiction and mother-daughter celebration in Afterwards…Lupton delivers a top-notch mystery with red herrings galore; even the most seasoned mystery reader will do a double-take at the arsonist's identity. However, the rich emotional topography is the most spellbinding feature in Afterwards. At its heart, Lupton's story deals with parents and children, the bonds that allow family members to share their joy and their pain and the struggle parents face between wanting their offspring to stay children forever and needing to let go…Readers are encouraged to grab a box of Kleenex, put Mom on speed dial and discover what comes afterwards.”
Shelf Awareness

“Afterwards is an exceptional literary thriller that resonates with depth and despair. It’s got it all: a gripping plot with twists and turns, a horrific crime, and a beautiful love story layered into the fine fabric of a family, who are torn apart by a devastating betrayal.”
—Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing and Never Knowing

“In Afterwards, we see a master's touch on every page. Uncompromising emotional impact, a poet’s sonorous style and a gripping story all come together to make this a transcendent literary experience. I guarantee this novel will touch everyone.”
—Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of Carte Blanche and Edge

“Brilliantly conceived and executed, Afterwards asks a mother's most terrifying question: what if your children were in mortal danger and you were unable to do a thing to save them? It's a heartbreaking and fearless journey that proves once again: Rosamund Lupton is truly a force to be reckoned with.”
Carla Buckley, author of The Things That Keep Us Here

More About the Author

Rosamund Lupton was born in England and went to Cambridge university. She was a screenwriter for many years before writing her first novel - 'Sister' - which has received widespread critical acclaim, including the New York Times Editor's choice and being broadcast on Radio 4's 'Book At Bedtime'. It is a best seller in Europe, a Sunday Times best seller and a New York Times best seller. Her second novel, Afterwards, was published in the USA in April 2012. It is an Amazon editor's choice for April and has had wide-spread praise. In the Uk it was Amazon's No. 2 in all fiction for 2011, and No. 2 Sunday Times fiction best-seller of 2011.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Nitty's Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rosamund Lupton's "Sister" was my favorite book of 2011, and is probably in my top 10 of all time. Her second book "Afterwards", another very well written literary thriller, uses a similar theme and is another winner.

Grace Covy is an ordinary 39 year old mother of two children. Grace has a loving relationship with her husband and is devoted to her children. She has a part-time job, however, does not feel she has been as successful in her career, as she might have wished. In a split second, Grace's world changes dramatically, while visiting during sports day at her children's private school. Jenny, her beautiful 17 year old daughter, is the on-site nurse for the day, and is inside the school when the catastrophic fire starts. Without a moments hesitation, Grace runs into the building to save her daughter.

Both mother and daughter sustain life-threatening injuries and are in a coma in the hospital. Similar to the movie "Ghost" and the book "The Lovely Bones" mother/daughter come to realize, they can leave their bodies and move freely around and talk, but only with each other. No, they are not dead, perhaps relegated to that place in-between life and death where one awaits their fate. During this out of body experience, Grace learns that the school fire was not an accident, but an act of arson. Grace also learns that Jenny may still be in danger.

The secondary characters are as vividly drawn as Grace and Jennifer. Grace's well-known husband Mike, works for the BBC and has already endured the loss of both of his parents at a young age. Adam their 8 year old son, is a gentle child, who adheres to the rules of gallantry/honor and is called Sir Covey by his family.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Grace is attending a school sports event. Her 8 year old son, Adam, is competing, while her 17 year old daughter Jenny is working inside the school. When fire erupts inside the school, Grace tears inside to rescue her daughter. Both are dragged from the school, unconscious. The rest of the book is narrated by Grace from her coma in hospital. While she and Jenny are unconscious, they are able to move outside their bodies and to observe the police investigation to find out who started the fire. As it becomes apparent that someone is still trying to ensure that Jenny does not survive, the investigation takes on an increasingly desperate tone.

This is a clever novel, part mystery, part thriller, part story of a mother realizing what her family means to her. The premise of Grace's "spirit" narrating the book takes a little getting used to. At first I thought she was dead, and I was also confused by the fact that the entire book is written as if she is talking to her husband. As a mystery, it works well. There are plenty of red herrings and a couple of genuine twists that you don't see coming. It is terribly drawn out though. The pace could have been quicker and repetitive segments either left out or trimmed. I never felt like giving up on it - I wanted to know how it would come together - but I did find some of the journey tedious. Plus I could see the ending (not the "whodunnit") coming a mile away.

I'm tossing up between 3 and 4 stars. This is a very readable book, but ultimately I didn't feel involved enough in it. I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't classify it a "must read".
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By readernyc on November 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I virtually never read mysteries, except P.D.James and all of the late Batya Gur. But I will read Rosamond Lupton as soon as a book comes out. I bought this, do not remember why, from Amazon.uk because apparently her work is more available or more popular in England than in USA. Here's my take on her magical skills:

You open a novel, whether "Sister" which was purely perfect or "Afterwards", which has flaws I'll get to, and you are moving as fast as you can because she makes you instantly hooked, instantly fascinated. There is some magic in that feat. No matter your mood or time of day or night (I opened this, mistake,to take a look on last Saturday morning and it was 6 PM when I finished losing a day in which I had much to do.)

I cannot yet analyze how Ms.Lupton pulls this off. Usually I can read as a writer but apparently her way with a story just makes me fully immersed without observing what she does that is so compelling.

Even with the flaws here--too many characters, too convoluted as to who did what and when, as to even the villians, IT DID NOT MATTER to me. Anyone who writes in a way that I literally panic if I put the book down for five minutes and then panic when I'm not sure where I left it, has my 5 star vote. I don't know why the author got overly convoluted. Maybe she gets bored if she is not creating massive suspense, but I recommend this not despite its flaws, but because the flaws don't really matter. I know this does not make logical sense but it makes fictional sense. She is just great. Thanks Rosamund for another great read. Keep em coming!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lupton is a master of psychological suspense, the new novel bringing her unique perspective to an idyllic marriage touched by tragedy. Grace Covey loses all sense of the world around her when she realizes her children's school is on fire. Adam, eight, is safely outside, but seventeen-year-old Jenny was scheduled to work on the third floor. Mother and daughter meet on the stairs as the roof crashes over them and black smoke fills the sky. We meet them next in the hospital, Grace in surgery, Jennifer swathed in bandages as Mike Covey, a BBC journalist, dodges a demanding press to learn the fate of his wife and daughter. Grace and Jennifer exist in a strange alter-state, the drama unfolding as they observe, albeit unable to communicate with their loved ones.

The police determine the cause of the fire was arson, in search of the culprit; simultaneously, Grace becomes aware of a continuing threat to Jennifer, the bonds of motherhood more powerful than the frail tethers of life and death. Regardless of the definition of her current state of existence, Grace is infused with a mother's urgency and the determination to protect her family. That Lupton creates this particular scenario- and makes it believable- is a testament to her skill as a writer and her vision in expanding the boundaries of the possible. The pure emotion of a mother in crisis is distilled in the fiery Grace, who will not allow defeat in this most important challenge. Sharing the intimacies of a happy marriage and the rewards of motherhood as the poignant tale unfolds, Lupton's protagonist's spirit is undiminished through incapacity. Rather, she is incandescent with purpose.
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