I have many alternative worlds, all on my bookshelf. Working at BookLikes.com Say hello: kate at booklikes dot com
Death and what comes after was always a gripping book theme and many authors presented various scenarios that could be possible which often couldn’t go together, like zombieland and dream paradise. But Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton isn’t about death as such. Is clinical death really a death? Where are we when we’re not in our body? Well, characters in Afterwards were trying to figure out who wanted to kill them.
Novel tells the story of mom who tried to rescue her teen daughter from awful fire. They both ended by in the hospital with severe injuries and in coma. And they both left their bodies and met on the ward to get to know that the fire wasn’t an accident but arson and that police is getting it all wrong. The only hope lays in Grace’s (mom’s) not so favorite sister-in-law who shamelessly pushes forward and wants to resolve the mystery as much as she wants both girls to wake up and stay alive. But the clock is ticking, tick tack, tick tack … and the chances for both things are getting smaller and smaller.
I didn’t fall into the mystery. Although it presented some twists and turns and false tracks, it wasn’t really reliable or so surprising as the author would like it to be. But I think the author didn’t fall for mystery either. I think Rosamund Lupton wanted to focus on relationships, emotions, empathy, inner strength and love. And I suppose she did well here. As the story goes we get to know mom and daughter a little better with their hopes, fears and full bags of emotions. Their strength to know what really happened is as strong as their will to survive. But all they can do is to watch, listen, follow and sometimes get to know more than others who try to figure out what happened. This forced passivity is the worst thing I can imagine in this state. You don't have influence on anything or power to do anything. Or maybe you do?
I'll leave you with this open question next to Afterwards - the book about eternal parental love.