Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell

After You'd Gone 

Goodreads description:
Alice is a young woman who is returning to Scotland to reunite with her family. She meets her family at Waverley Station, but a strange incident happens. After seeing something horrible in a mirror at the station, she gets on the next train to London. Later that day, her family goes to a London hospital where Alice lies in a coma. The family argues about whether or not it was a suicide attempt. In Maggie O’Farrell’s gripping novel After You’d Gone, Alice, while in a coma, begins taking stock of her life and a recent love affair. 

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Maggie O'Farrell's newest release so I was interested in going back and reading some of her earlier novels. This was her first novel and, honestly, it read like a first novel. I thought that there were moments of brilliance in the newer novel but I never really connected with this one. I tried to love it. I wanted to love it. But, ultimately, it was just good. Certainly not great. The writing wasn't nearly as wonderful in this book. It was fine writing but not great writing. Maybe my being underwhelmed about this book was a direct result of having read something more current before reading this. I just didn't feel that the story was rave worthy. THe characters seemed to be fairly one dimensional and I never really found myself going beyond indifference with any of them. I do think that O'Farrell did a fairly good job of describing grief via the main character but it wasn't enough for me to love the book. I will give her second novel a chance, in hopes that some of the issues that I found in this book were corrected in her second novel. Not a bad book by any means, just not the book I'd hoped it would be! On the positive, it was a quick read and I was never bored. I just can't say it will leave a lasting impression on me.

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