Saturday, March 31, 2012

Does our experiences define our life?

Title: After You'd Gone
Genre: Woman's Fiction
Sub-genre: Modern, English
Pages:  374
Published: 2001
Publisher: Viking Books
ISBN: 0670894486
Reader's Annotation: Will Alice's tragedy bring a family closer together or break them apart?
Summary: Alice Raikes goes to visit her sisters in Scotland's capital but after witnessing something while in the restroom, she rushes back home to London. After getting off the train she is hit by a car and lays in a coma. As she lays there, her family comes and a secret long the past, or so some thought begins to emerge. How will Alice's story interweave into the story of her mother Ann or her grandmother Elspeth?
My Evaluation: Recommended to me by a friend, I wasn't quite sure about this book. I was very thrown in the beginning because the book does switch narratives quiet frequently and it took some getting use to. The stories of Alice both in first and third person are interwoven into her mother's Ann's story about marrying a Scot, as well as her grandmother's. The story is heartbreaking, especially for Alic and O'Farrell does an excellent job in getting the reader to care for her characters. However! I was completely and utterly unsatisfied with the ending!
SPOILER ALERT! When you reach the end of the book you don't know what happens to Alice, whether she survives or not and it's really annoying! Plus I was extremely annoyed when John dies... why make Alice so unhappy  after she finally got over her rape and her unhappy childhood. She finally found someone she loved and to have that all taken away? I know it happens in real life but sometimes you want a happy ending a book!

In the end, O'Farrell has written an excellent novel and her stories for each character are well written.
Rating:  4.8 out of 5