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REVIEW: After The End

“When you stand at the crossroads you cannot see each destination, only the beginnings of the paths that will lead you there. All you can do is hope that someone will walk with you.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

This was a Beth’s Book Club pick for September/October and I’m ashamed to say, this has been the only time I haven’t finished the book in time for the book club discussion…shame on me, I know. 

But I started it on the Friday before the discussion on Sunday and I was determined to finish it. I guess that’s one of the best things about virtual book club discussions, especially Beth’s, I can easily catch up on what was discussed if I couldn’t make the discussion.

What Did I Think?

So I picked this book up after getting some pretty bad news and I did think to myself whether I’d be able to concentrate on the book whilst my head had fallen off. I took a weekend off social media (something I do every weekend now) and dedicated it to doing some feel-good stuff. 

Yet this book is far from feel-good so it probably wasn’t the best pick. If you don’t know After The End is about a couple who have a terminally ill son who need to make a BIG decision regarding his care. The book is slightly unusual in the fact that we follow the two main characters, Max and Pip, in the future and see how the court decision impacted their relationship. The concept was really strange and it took me a while to understand what was happening but, I think Clare Mackintosh did a wonderful job of exploring how parents’ lives are changed/affected when you have a disabled/seriously ill child. 

“No one knows what’s going to happen in the future. The only thing we can do is make our choices on the way we feel right now.”

However…I don’t think I was ever really hooked on the story and that could have been because I was reading it at the wrong time. I would definitely say that After The End wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read but I enjoyed the narrative and I had never really read a story like this before. I also think it was incredibly brave of Clare to write this book based on her personal experience. It must have been hard for her during that time, and to relive that experience whilst writing this book must have been even harder, yet also a kind of healing process for her?

After The End

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Publisher: Sphere
Published: 2019
# of Pages: 370
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Trigger Warnings: Disability, terminal illness, ICU, intensive care, court cases, life vs death, divorce, grief
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells


3 thoughts on “REVIEW: After The End”

  1. I found this a really powerful book which was good apart from becoming slightly repetitive in the second half. Nice review Jess, and sorry that you read this at a relatively bad time. 🙂


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