Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Just finished reading Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton and must say that this is a great second novel – although it is not a follow up to Sister (just thought I’d make that clear).  I think Rosamund Lupton is definitely proving herself to be a highly imaginative writer who can provide what basically appears to be a thriller – but with a surprisingly supernatural take and a twist at the end.

I won’t really go into the plot as I think this will spoil the read, to quote Amazon:

There is a fire and they are in There. They are in there . . .
Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.
Afterwards, Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her family from the person who’s still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

This is a very emotional read – particularly the ending when tissues are recommended! But, it is also gripping and again the author manages to write in such a way that throughout the novel you suspect everyone!  And, you’re convinced you’re right with each guess but basically she’s just pulling you along and keeping you guessing all the way.  I didn’t see the final outcome – at all – I have to admit.  Actually I never guessed the ending in Sister either.

Basically we have another thriller with a race to find the culprit before further damage can be inflicted – and then we have the supernatural element – which basically you will find out about after reading virtually the first page – but, I’m not going to say what it is here as I think it will give people preconceived ideas.  Just to eliminate a few themes that may put people off – when I say supernatural, I’m not talking of vampires, werewolves, fantasy, fallen angels, etc, and I’m not trying to be really criptic, just a bit careful.  I could make a comparison, but to be honest, I’m not always overly pleased with comparisons.  I suppose it has a ghost like quality – without being ghosts.  I’m not really proving very articulate here so I’m going to leave it alone and you’ll just have to read the book!

In terms of the characters I would say my favourite is Sarah.  She was such a strong individual.  She took risks and clearly loves her brother and his family, and in spite of a coolness that has obviously existed in the past between Grace (who tells the story) and Sarah she throws herself wholeheartedly into the search for a culprit.  Plus, she’s quick and passionate.  I liked the way that Grace finally saw her for who she really was and regretted that they’d not had a chance to get to know each other properly.

In terms of criticisms.  I think that some of the characters were a bit stereotype.  Plus I think the family themselves were given a bit too much sugary sweetness and came across too perfect.  The only other thing, at over 400 pages I think it could have been shortened slightly just to make it have a more punchy feel.

But, having said that, I think RL is great at writing an emotional novel.  She also seems to now be developing a trait of leaving you to draw some of your own conclusions at the end and I think it will be interesting to see if she continues in this vein and she is an expert at leading you down the wrong path (but in a way where you’re so sure you’ve been really clever and second guessed the ending – only to find in the following chapter – another path that you’re going to be taken down).

Definitely recommend.  You will need to suspend your disbelief a little bit and also get to grips with who’s talking to who at some points of the story, but overall a great second novel.

Rating A




6 Responses to “Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton”

  1. Pix Muse

    Ooooooooooo, read “Sister.” Must read this one too. Again, thank you for the great suggestion.

    Gentle hugs,
    “October, here’s to you. Here’s to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples, the wine-y spell of ripened grapes, the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke.”
    ~ Ken Weber

  2. Pix Muse

    Oh wow! What is “The Winter Ghosts” about, you asked? How to say?

    It’s not a typical love story… Not Boy meets girl… Different time periods, involved… Lots of “Did this really happen?” moments… But he has proof… Etc…. Pretty spooky. But a very different kind of spooky, at least to me. 🙂

    Hope you have time to read it.

    Gentle hugs,
    “October, here’s to you. Here’s to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples, the wine-y spell of ripened grapes, the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke.”
    ~ Ken Weber

  3. Novel Girl

    I agree with your rating. Rosamund is one of the best authors around. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed Sister as well. In fact on reflection I would probably say Sister was my favourite because the ending ws just so unique, it literally made me stop reading. I had to put the book down and rethink through everything that had been going on. I also liked the fact that she left the ending open.
      Lynn 😀

  4. mesetageresenfranglais

    I really enjoyed that book. I read sister too and they were different with similarities. But I think the author manages always to keep you involve in the book and that’s what I like.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think that on reflection I probably enjoyed Sister more, probably because of the mystery element and the twist at the end. Thanks for stopping by. I will come and check out what you are up to. Im on holiday at the moment so not much wifi.
      Lynn 😀

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