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After the Fall: A Novel Paperback – May 2, 2017
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"Give this perfect blend of laugh-out-loud and heart-tugging moments to readers who like complicated, realistic relationships joyously rendered, like those from Jojo Moyes or Jill Mansell." -Booklist (Starred Review)
"Cohen is a talented author who has touched upon a topic that is very much in the news today and has given it a positive voice." -RT Reviews (4 Stars!)
"After the Fall explores a truth that we're inclined to ignore--that loving on any and every level takes massive amounts of courage. And that sometimes we need that courage to even love ourselves. And that while taking that unsure first step may be frightening, "falling" is ultimately and always worth the pain." -Jennifer Scott, bestselling author of The Accidental Book Club
“With sensitivity and humor, After the Fall explores the ties of blood and duty that bind a family defined by tragedy and secrets. The awesome power of love – in all its forms – lies at the core of this wonderful novel. Deftly weaving together the stories of three women, Julie Cohen delivers a deeply satisfying read. Her characters are at once familiar and mysterious – as comfortable as old friends and as enticing as an unopened box.” -Ariella Cohen, author of Sweet Breath of Memory
About the Author
JULIE COHEN grew up in Maine, USA, and studied English at Brown University, Rhode Island and Cambridge University in England. She moved to the UK permanently to research fairies in Victorian children’s literature at the University of Reading, and then taught English at secondary level. She now writes full time and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing. She lives with her husband and their son in Berkshire. She is also the author of Dear Thing and Where Love Lies.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jo knows that Honor has no one else in her life to help her out and wants her to get to know her granddaughter Lydia better so she wants Honor to stay with them while she recovers and develop a relationship with Honor again. What happens are the three generations come together to get to know one another and discover the secrets between them as they grow closer together.
After the Fall is one of those books there were some things I loved and some others that I wasn't a huge fan of during the read leading me to rate this one at 3.5 stars. I loved the idea of the three generations of women learning more about one another and bringing their family back together after being separated by the death of Jo's husband. Honor herself also quickly became a favorite of mine with her spunky attitude and learning about her background only made me love her more.
As for what I wasn't a fan of in the book I really would have preferred more to the discovering of secrets in the book. I didn't really find anything all that shocking but more of just the growth of the characters and bringing them together. And starting off the read I wasn't a huge fan of Jo, while I was glad she did the right thing bringing Honor back into her life she was just a bit too meek and timid to get behind her personality quickly, luckily she grew one me though. In the end I did enjoy this read simply for the family being brought back together and learning about one another.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Honor Levinson is a fiercely independent woman who never lets the effects of aging slow her down. However, with one missed step, she takes a tumble down the staircase that results in a broken hip and an unexpected stay with her former daughter-in-law Jo Merrifield, her sixteen year granddaughter Lydia and Jo’s two young children from her second marriage, Oscar and Iris. Honor never warmed up to Jo during her marriage to her son Stephen and following his tragic death nearly ten years earlier, they have barely spent any time in one another’s company. Despite her trepidation about staying with Jo, Honor is pleasantly surprised by her new perspective of her former daughter-in-law and she is delighted by the opportunity to forge a closer relationship with her granddaughter and Jo’s other two kids.
Jo is extremely frazzled as she takes care of her children on her own after her second marriage ends in divorce. Oscar and Iris are rambunctious young kids while Lydia is a fairly typical teen who wants as little do with her mum as possible. Despite her hectic life, Jo is always upbeat and optimistic as she tries to find the positive in even the worst situation.
Lydia is dealing with the typical teen angst but she is also carrying a heavy burden as she tries to keep anyone from discovering her secret. She tries to fly under the radar and avoid becoming a target of her rather mean-spirited classmates who love nothing more than pick on anyone different from them. Lydia and her best friend Avril Toller have been inseparable for years but their once tight friendship is soon put to the test by Avril’s new relationship. As she and Honor grow close, Lydia entrusts her grandmother with the truth she has carefully concealed from everyone in her life.
Despite the less than ideal circumstances that bring the three generations together, this enforced time in one another’s company has a positive impact on their lives. Honor finds an unexpected measure of peace as she finally comes to terms with her son’s tragic death and she gains a newfound appreciation and unexpected admiration for her daughter-in-law. Jo is rather shocked when Honor provides her the chance to occasionally escape her everyday life. After Lydia’s worst fear comes true, she makes a decision that will have unexpected consequences for all three women as the secrets they have tried to keep hidden are forced into the open. In the aftermath, will their newfound closeness endure?
After the Fall is a riveting novel of healing for Honor, Jo and Lydia. The storyline has plenty of depth and the women’s struggles are realistically depicted in a sensitive but forthright manner. The characters are multi-faceted and although it is sometimes not easy to like them, it is impossible not to become fully invested in the final outcome of the issues they are facing. This latest release by Julie Cohen is a heartfelt journey of reconciliation that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.
I received a complimentary copy for review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A poignant, beautifully heartbreaking novel about what it means to be family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that threaten to tear us apart.Read more
After The Fall is a superbly crafted character-driven novel, about family secrets, loss, and love.Read more
This is an intriguing novel that emphasizes the enduring mental and emotional anguish that can be caused by underlying...Read more
Honor, age 80, has just fallen down her stairs trying to get to the ringing telephone.Read more