Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.
After You'd Gone has been on my shelf for quite sometime, but I haven't really made time to read it until 3 days ago. The synopsis attracted me, and I got this from Bookmooch years ago.
It's one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. It's definitely unconventional, the story going back and forth in time, with no permanent narrators. The point of view switches from first and third person, and oddly I find that refreshing because that's also how I once wrote my novel drafts. It sometimes validates my opinion that such an unconventional way of writing is acceptable.
The story is strong, although sometimes predictable. I love that all characters are fully fleshed out, and that we get different perspectives all the time. It is moving, often heartbreaking and it has this raw quality that makes me flip page after page just to find out what happens next.
A truly wonderful masterpiece, and it's worth mentioning that this is a debut novel. I love debut novels for some reasons - that they always showcase the author's deepest feelings and emotions, and their freshest idea, along with the drive of being a new author that compels them to do their best and not just to repeat success or create the next book that might stand like a replica against the first.
I love it. 4.5 stars out of 5.
P.S. Love the cover, though mine's a different one with blue background.