Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “After Her” as Want to Read:
After Her
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

After Her

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  7,598 Ratings  ·  975 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and The Good Daughters returns with a warm and haunting novel of sisterhood, adolescence, sacrifice, and suspense

"Maynard illuminates the human experience."-People magazine

It's the summer of 1979, and a dry, hot, northern California school vacation stretches ahead for Rachel and her younger sister Patty-the daughters a lar
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by William Morrow (first published 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about After Her, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuireEntwined with You by Sylvia DayReckless by S.C. StephensDown London Road by Samantha YoungNever Too Far by Abbi Glines
2013 Release books to read
415th out of 1,029 books — 2,299 voters
Little Women by Louisa May AlcottPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenSense and Sensibility by Jane AustenThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“Sister” Novels
99th out of 310 books — 143 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 12, 2015 Elyse rated it it was amazing
Update news: This book will go on sale for $1.99 on Kindle from Dec. 14th to Jan. 4th.
The idea for this story comes from a past true event in Northern California.
Also.. in this Kindle special will include a chapter of Joyce's new book -"Under The Influence", which will be released early in 2016.

This page turning new novel is deliciously written. The story fully engaging. Characters 'vivid'. It would be fun to try to 'cast' for a movie.

Two sisters live near the mountain where a serial killer is
Jan 14, 2016 Carol added it
William Morrow Publishing, c.2014 – e-book, 338 p.

The Hook 2106 Reading Plan – An in-between book, one I purchased on sale in e-book format based on the publisher’s review.
The Line ”It was the place we found out about everything, that mountain.”

The Sinker – Maynard takes a great deal of time setting up the mystery presented here. Her protagonist begins the story in a look back of events thirty years past. The narrator, the forty plus Rachel initially alludes to an encounter with a serial mu
After Her is a standalone, fiction novel written by author Joyce Maynard. This is a multi-genre story set in 1979; a serial rapist/killer is on the loose and a young girl is desperate to help her detective father who is struggling with the case. While the aforementioned may be the main plot, After Her is quite layered with elements that include the time period, the complexity of coming of age, the bond between sisters, family unit issues, and a subtle paranormal dynamic. Overall, I enjoyed this ...more
Moira Russell
Aug 20, 2013 Moira Russell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, this is terrible. May-not-finish-reading terrible. All the reasons why are summed up pretty well here. I grew up in the eighties, I lived in California, I love true crime stories, and the idea of focusing on the detective's family rather than the killer is great -- but the book is so badly written, it's nearly unreadable. This is when preordering an ebook feels like being a sucker. I should have waited and read the first chapter, and then I wouldn't have wasted my money.

-- And then the end
Mar 30, 2015 Leanne rated it really liked it
The most overwhelming thought I had after finishing this book was that it surprised me. It surprised me because based on the blurb ("part thriller, part love story"), I expected an accessible, fairly straightforward thriller, and what I ended up getting was a poignant coming-of-age story with vague murder mystery elements. It surprised me because, through the same logic, I also expected a love story - and yes, this is a love story, but not a conventional one. It's a love story between sisters, b ...more
Aug 30, 2016 Magdalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish Review

Året är 1979 och systrarna Rachel och Patty bor i Marin County i Kalifornien. När flera unga flickor blir mördade i bergen bakom huset där de bor blir deras pappa som är kriminalinspektör den som får leda utredningen. Deras pappa bor inte längre hemma och deras mamma har sedan hon kastade ut honom pga av att han var ständigt otrogen drabbats av en depression och bryr sig inte så mycket om vad flickorna gör när de är hemma och trots deras pappas varningar så kan de inte låta bli a
RD Morgan
Aug 19, 2013 RD Morgan rated it it was amazing
The father figure in After Her is a cross between Don Draper and Atticus Finch, and if that won't persuade you to read it, then perhaps the fact that the book is the second-best book I've read all year might.*

Few books make me yearn for my childhood, but After Her did just that. I'm purchasing it for the cousins I grew up with, the ones who shared my overactive imagination and who roamed the neighborhoods, woods, and swamps with me. I hope they'll read it with as much nostalgia as I did.

Fans of
Nov 20, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and read it in a day. It is the story of a detective's family in Marin County during the hunt for a serial killer who is killing women right on the mountain near the family's home. Rachel the oldest daughter tells the story once she is in her 40s so it is looking back to 1979 when Rachel and her sister, Patty were growing up, playing, enjoying the outdoors and dealing with their mom's depression after their parents' divorce. We meet Rachel as a lively, imaginative 13 y ...more
I hate false advertizing! I've read several reviews of "After Her" which portrayed it as a mystery. It isn't.

On the surface it seems to be about a couple of adolescent girls who decide to help their Police detective father with a series of murders which happen in the girl's backyard. That constitutes about 15% of the book. The rest is a thirteen year old writer obsessing over why she hasn't gotten her period, worming her way into the popular crowd, and not recognizing her parents as total loser
Read, Run, Ramble
Aug 21, 2013 Read, Run, Ramble rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013, edelweiss, abandoned
Thank you William Morrow via Edelweiss for providing me an ARC of this book!

I had a little over 100 pages left when 2 things happened. 1. The book expired (one day past publication...ouch) and 2. I gave up on it.

The synopsis of this book sounds great. It is, of course, what led me to request the ARC in the first place. However the book doesn't quite deliver what the synopsis seems to invoke/promise.

With about half of the book read, I'd stumbled across the same information and themes over and o
Jul 11, 2013 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
1979 was a pivotal year for two young sisters, and would come to spotlight how loneliness, love, and the obsession with a murder investigation could turn lives on end.

Detective Anthony Torricelli was in charge of the case involving a serial killer attacking women in Marin County. At the same time, his imaginative daughters, Rachel and Patty, while away their hours on the mountain and the surrounding areas targeted by the killer.

Narrated in Rachel's first person voice, "After Her: A Novel" reveal
Sep 03, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing
It's a thriller; it's a coming-of-age story; it's a thriller -- no it's BOTH! For me, the thriller portion of this story takes a big backseat to the engaging, compelling, and carefully drawn story of young sisters Rachel and Patty. Told in Rachel's honest, appealing voice, this book often reads like a memoir rather than a "detective story". The sisters are creative, spirited, honorable, and wonderfully young and naive. Their love for their dad is the universal" every girl's" love of father; thou ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Naomi rated it liked it
Read my full review:

My opinion: I have to say that I was incredibly conflicted in my review of this book. I LOVE Joyce Maynard's writing and have read a good chunk of her books. The writing in this story was somewhat "cheesy" and that drove me absolutely nuts. On that note, it is set in the 1970's, which was a really "cheesy" time.

I also didn't feel that the characters nor the storyline were as developed in the other books that I have written by this author. In my humble op
The Librarian
Sep 04, 2013 The Librarian rated it really liked it
In the summer of 79, two young sisters on the verge of adolescence attempt to deal with their parent's divorce, first love....and a serial killer in their backyard.

This is my first introduction to Maynard, and I will be reading more. She beautifully captured the close relationship of the two sisters and a period where summers were actually a time when children could relax and use their imaginations, rather than the heavily structured days many of them experience now. Yes, it made me very nostal
Jul 12, 2016 Terry rated it it was amazing
Did you ever finish a book that was so good, it was impossible to write a review? The plot was interesting, the characters all seemed like real people, the story was poignant and compelling, something I will think about for a long time. Anything I could say is not enough. I am so glad I have an actual hardback copy because this is a book I will press upon a few select people and insist they read it.
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 11, 2013 Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it
I get a lot of books to review so I get into this bad habit of starting them without any expectations. I quit a lot of them within a few pages. But if the voice grabs me, I stay. Initially AFTER HER seemed like a thriller with a good voice so I stuck around. It was actually something very different, but I was already seduced into it and couldn't stop.

This is really a coming-of-age novel of sorts, about 13-year-old Rachel whose only real friend is her little sister Patty. Her parents are divorced
Jun 19, 2016 JanB rated it really liked it
Based loosely on Marin County's "Trailside Killer" back in the 70s this book is part thriller, part family drama/coming of age story. The effects of a serial killer on the loose on the lead detective's family is explored. Rachel is the older daughter, now in her 40s, and tells the story as she looks back to her childhood.

I was hooked from page one and listened compulsively until the last page. The characters were well developed and the tension palpable. I loved the 1970's references.

The bond b
Kathy James
May 11, 2016 Kathy James rated it it was amazing
This book will be published in September and I highly recommend it. It is a coming-of-age story blended with a mystery surrounding a serial killer. The relationship between the two sisters and with their father is memorable. I didn't mind the slow pace of the book for the first 200 pages; indeed the fact that nothing happens is the point. Murders aren't solved; womanhood is not achieved. The pace picks up --almost dizzingly so -- in the last 100 pages.
Amber Myott
Jun 03, 2016 Amber Myott rated it liked it
I am a fan of Joyce Maynard so I had high hopes for this book. I enjoyed it but it was a bit of a 'slow burner'. Probably wasn't a true thriller but it did give an insight into family dynamics and how our perceptions of others are not always correct . She definitely creates a vivid picture of characters and the settings they are in . 3 1/2 stars if I could .
Mar 22, 2016 Lynne rated it it was amazing
This book was outstanding! The story takes place in San Francisco during 1979. We are told upfront that Rachel's sister saved her but she wasn't able to save her sister. So during the whole story we wonder who will do? And how will it happen? It's something you would never expect. Excellent writing! I'm so glad to have the Toledo Lucas County Public Library send these books straight to my iPhone.
Dan Radovich
Apr 24, 2013 Dan Radovich rated it really liked it
Maynard brings her talents to this thriller weaving a truely enjoyable read. For the Maynard fan, you have everything you have come to expect from a Joyce Maynard book here: great characters, a well crafted story spanning 30 years, and the believability that Maynard brings every time she creates. Rachel is one of her best characters to date.
Jul 25, 2015 Lori rated it liked it
This book was extra fun for me because the main character is exactly my age...13 years old in 1979. I know this is not important, but it really made me relate to the story more and revisit one of my least favorite years. (Junior High. Oh, the inhumanity of it all!) Rachel and her sister, Patty, Toricelli, have bigger problems than the Scarlet G For Geek that seemed permanently tattooed on my forehead. There is a serial killer running amok in their San Francisco neighborhood and he is wracking up ...more
Sheryl Sorrentino
Mar 28, 2015 Sheryl Sorrentino rated it liked it
It is hard to review this book without giving away spoilers, but I was confused about a few things:

(view spoiler)
Lisa Nocita
Nov 24, 2013 Lisa Nocita rated it liked it
Potentially great but ultimately lacked the narrative structure to keep it on the rails. Rambly and repetitive. At first, I didn't mind the nostalgic prose as it meandered in and out the story of the summer of 1979 when a serial killer is terrorizing a young girl's county. It is charming and sweet, capturing the angst and wonder of the age. "Thirteen-year-olds are big and small, thin and fat. Neither. Both. They have the smoothest, most perfect skin, and sometimes, overnight their faces are a me ...more
Janet Fiorentino
Sep 02, 2013 Janet Fiorentino rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in under three days. I was pulled into the story from the first page--the protagonist's voice was realistically evocative. Two young girls grow up in the seventies, raised by their depressed mother while their father solves crimes in Marin County. While the story focuses on the father searching for and trying to catch the "Sunset Strangler," the real story is about a girl seeing her father as not a hero, but as a man with flaws. It was hard to let these characters go when I ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Elise rated it it was amazing
I didn't have time to read After Her (our book club choice for late October), but I made time, because I couldn't put it down. In fact, I ignored all work except for laundry over the weekend, because I can read when the laundry is going. I brought this book to our Trivia Night gathering on Saturday night and read it during the sports round (where I am of no help to my team anyway). I am not in the habit of whipping out a book during social gatherings; my mother raised me better than that, with m ...more
Amy Meyer
Sep 26, 2013 Amy Meyer rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book. It’s heart-warming and heart-breaking. It’s humorous and suspenseful as themes of youth and innocence, love, loss and family relationships course through the pages of this part coming-of-age, part mystery story.

Told in the voice of 13-year old Rachel, After Her is set in Northern California, Marin County just outside San Francisco. Rachel lives with her younger sister, Patty and their mother. Rachel and Patty are on their own most of the time since their mother suffers fr
Kasa Cotugno
With this book, Joyce Maynard has really upped her game. This book is more measured and deliberate than many others.

At the core is the fact-inspired history of a serial killer who stalked lone hikers known as the Trailside Killer. A cute name for a monster. Maynard's is even more ironic, calling him the Sunset Killer. But the true stars of this book are two sisters who live at the base of Mt Tamalpais (known locally as Mount Tam), at a time before Marin was the chic enclave that it has evolved
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"When I was young, I'd say, that's what I did to make life interesting. My sister and I were always looking for a little drama, and if the world didn't provide some, we'd invent it. We could make up stories so read we believed them ourselves.

And then something really did happen, of course. And all we wished for then was that it never did."

Rachel and Patty Toricelli grow up in Marin County much like any other young child in 1970. When faced with the seemingly endless possibilities of adventure t
Aug 31, 2013 Jeanette rated it liked it
This novel's first 50/75 pages- that part was delightful for me to read. So much of popular USA culture of 1979 really connected- my two oldest kids the exact ages of these two sisters. Near another big city, and did she nail it. It was a 4, easily, until the mid-point.

And I don't think the writing style was poor at all. In fact it was cadence, flow, clipped perfect as 11 and 13 year olds speak. It fit.

But somewhere in the middle it got so repetitious that it went rather flat. And also a little
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Coffee Talk: April, 2015 Book of the Month; After Her 17 28 May 05, 2015 09:32AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: After Her 1 3 Sep 15, 2013 07:26PM  
  • The Violet Hour
  • At the Bottom of Everything
  • Visitation Street
  • Paris Was the Place
  • Crime of Privilege
  • If You Were Here
  • The Edge of the Earth
  • The Night of the Comet
  • Once Upon a Lie (Maeve Conlon, #1)
  • Everybody Has Everything
  • The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
  • Kicking the Sky
  • The Wishing Hill
  • The Partner Track
  • The Lies You Told Me
  • Accidents Happen
  • Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
  • De Potter's Grand Tour: A Novel
Joyce Maynard first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story “An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life” in 1973, when she was a freshman at Yale. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist whose “Domestic Affairs” column appeared in more than fifty papers nationwide, a regular contributor to NPR ...more
More about Joyce Maynard...

Share This Book

“I tried to think of what my father would tell me. 'Don't let any boy give you shit.' But he'd never said how we should go about preventing this.” 3 likes
“weary soldiers who went through a war together, side by” 1 likes
More quotes…