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After You

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,021 ratings  ·  261 reviews
The complexities of a friendship. The unexplored doubts of a marriage. And the redemptive power of literature...Julie Buxbaum, the acclaimed author of The Opposite of Love, delivers a haunting, gloriously written novel about love, family, and the secrets we hide from each other—and ourselves.

It happened on a tree-lined street in Notting Hill to a woman who seemed to have t...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by The Dial Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tea Jovanović
Good c'est la vie story... About love, loss, death, birth, life, grief, friendship, family, parenthood, childhood, marriage, doubts, weddings, divorces... All in one book and one story... :)
Well written and one that catches you from the start and don't leave you till the last page... I fell in love with this author with her debut novel The Opposite of Love (I was Serbian editor of the book), and my faith in her writing is still strong and I'm looking forward to enjoy her third :)
Rhonda
One thing my girlfriend and I have always been amazed at is that ONE PHONE CALL in ONE MOMENT can change your life forever. Just like that, things will never be the same again...an accident, a disease, a death, whatever the news, one moment things can be just fine and the next moment your life is turned upside down.

That's what happens in this book, Ellie learns that her best friend, who is currently living in Europe, was killed in a street robbery...in front of her 8-year-old daughter, Ellie's...more
Jessica
I read this in an evening when I wasn't feeling well and DH took over boy duty. It was fine for that but not a great novel. Ellie's best friend, Lucy, is murdered and Ellie moves to London to help care for her 8-year-old, Sophie. The author dodges a few cliches but manages to incorporate quite a few obvious plot points. The characters never seemed quite real to me. She excels in a few passages that describe the emotional punch of losing a loved one, but overall the book felt thin to me.

My star r...more
Charlene
Jul 27, 2009 Charlene rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Book Clubs
Recommended to Charlene by: A Good Reads winner
I won this book from the Good reads site. The story follows Ellie, who is trying to recover from a still born and the slow destruction of her marriage. Ellie's childhood friend, Lucy, is murdered in an upscale part of London while walking her 8 year old daughter, Sophie, to school. Ellie flies to London to attend to the arrangements and deal with Sophie, who now refuses to speak. Dealing with the loss of her stillborn child, marriage, and now lifelong best friend, Ellie attempts to deal with the...more
Winna
After reading the Opposite of Love, I expected After You to be just as amazing. And it's not bad or anything, it's just that maybe I've expected too much.

We get sucked into Ellie's world immediately, the chaos and loss of a best friend, a husband, a life. But then, I'm not sucked into Ellie as a person. At first I don't understand her, I don't really know why she's making the choices she's making. It's only after half the book that I begin to relate to her, and like her as a character.

The book i...more
Julie Ekkers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill  Lynn
I enjoyed this. There were many ways this book could have concluded, depending on which path the character (and author) chose, and while I had no problem with the way it ended, it seemed a bit abrupt.
Julie
After You was a decent book. It wasn't great and it wasn't awful. The story line is fairly well thought out and interesting, as are the characters. The writing, however, wasn't spectacular. The metaphors are mostly trivial, as are most of the descriptions of the characters. Ideally, there could have been better character development, and more detailed interactions between the main character, Ellie, and everyone else (besides Sophie). The story starts of pretty slow, the middle is decent, and I e...more
Violet Crush
I have been sitting on this review for a long time. I tried writing it a couple of times but I just couldn’t do it justice. But I’m going to try and tell you how lovely this book is. Ellie’s best friend Lucy is murdered in broad daylight and Ellie goes to London to take care of her 8 year daughter Sophie. Lucy’s husband Greg is coping with his own grief and does not really pay much attention to Sophie or what’s going on in the house. He’s more than happy to hand over the ropes to Ellie for a whi...more
Leah
When Ellie learns of the murder of her best friend Lucy, she does what any friend would do, and drops everything and heads to London to look after Lucy’s daughter, Sophie, and to pick up the pieces. Sophie, as expected, is struggling with her mum’s death and has stopped talking. Desperate to get the little girl to open up again, Ellie decides that the best course of action is to read a book with her. Ellie chooses The Secret Garden, a book that helped her get through childhood, and hopes it will...more
Diane
Lucy, Ellie Lerner's best friend of 30 years, is stabbed to death while walking her eight year old daughter Sophie to school. Ellie is so devastated that she leaves her job and her husband in Boston, and travels to Notting Hill, England to help Sophie and her Greg through this difficult time.

Greg deals with his grief by escaping to local pubs, and little Sophie is so traumatized by witnessing her mother's stabbing, has stopped speaking. Ellie desperate to help Sophie, turns to the book, The Secr...more
Amy
I am not much of a chick lit reader, but “After You,” was a fantastic read for those who embrace the chick lit and those who do not.

Ellie’s best friend, Lucy, is brutally murdered in front of her daughter and Ellie comes to stay with her daughter to help comfort her during this time of loss. Ellie arrives in Notting Hill to find her husband who is drinking and working to comfort himself while Sophie has decided to stop speaking after witnessing the death of her mother.

Ellie remembers that when...more
gautami
Let's pretend things are different. That in the last couple of days, I haven't become the kind of person who resorts to wishing on eyelashes, first tears of the night, and the ridiculous 11:11, both a.m. and p.m., in earnest and with my eyes closed.

When Ellie's best friend Lucy is murdered in London, Ellie rushes there from Boston, to be with Lucy's eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. After greeting Ellie, Sophie stops speaking. Meanwhile, Lucy's husband has withdrawn into himself and the charge of...more
Katie
Jul 19, 2012 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Ellie and Lucy have been friends nearly their entire lives, having grown up near one another in Boston. After college, the women's paths take slightly different directions when Lucy, a journalist, moves to England to marry a man she'd fallen in love with. In spite of the distance, the women remain close, and Ellie is even asked to be godmother to Lucy's daughter, Sophie. Ellie marries, suffers a crippling loss, and finds her marriage falling through her fingers. One day, she receives a call that...more
Colleen
Though others have categorized this book as chick-lit, I think that underplays the emotional truths laid out in the narrative. When Ellie's friend Lucy is killed, Ellie knows she has to rush to London to help care for Sophie; what she doesn't seem to realize is how much her actions are driven by a desire to escape the life she is currently living. Ellie uses that classic tale The Secret Garden to reach out to Sophie because her mother used it years before to reach out to Ellie in a time of grief...more
Julie
Jul 06, 2009 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julie by: Won a copy from First Reads!
Shelves: first-reads
Ellie and Lucy have been best friends since they were four years old. Their lives have diverged – Lucy has always been the glamorous one, and she lives an upscale life with her husband and daughter in London, while Ellie has stayed close to home in a Boston suburb, where she is an adjunct professor – but they have remained extremely close. When Lucy is murdered, Ellie leaves her husband and job behind to take care of Lucy’s 8-year-old daughter, Sophie. Ellie finds out secrets about Lucy’s life,...more
Helen
Eight-year-old Sophie has been left traumatised after witnessing the murder of her mother, Lucy, in the street near their London home. Sophie's reaction to the tragedy is simply to stop speaking. Lucy's best friend, Ellie Lerner, has travelled from America to London to try to help her goddaughter and she becomes determined to break through Sophie's self-imposed silence. Knowing how much Sophie loves reading books, Ellie decides to introduce her to one of her own childhood favourites - The Secret...more
Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marci
A story that explores death, loss and relationships. I enjoyed the characters and the story the only thing that bothered me is that it is supposed to be written from the point of view of an American from Boston. Unfortunately, the writer tends to let British English writing style dominate - so while the story takes place mostly in London, I had trouble believing Ellie was actually from the States...even though her character often made fun of British English sayings. Putting aside my attention to...more
Thepinkpig Abides
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J&B Reviews
After You

After You is a story about grief and the many ways that we find to cope (or not cope) with it. When her best friend, Lucy, is murdered in London, Ellie catches the next flight from Boston to do whatever she can to help Lucy's husband and daughter get through this horrible loss.

She is also running away from the death of her baby, Oliver, who died a year ago during the eighth month of what had been until then a very normal pregnancy. I could go on and on but I really don't want to give an...more
Kyla
slightly sub-par chick-lit that at least name checked one of my favourite kid books - The Secret Garden - but then dissed "A Little Princess". Oh no you didn't.
Rachelle
After The Opposite of Love this book is quite a disappointment. The whole book was depressing and I couldn't identify with the characters.
Laura
I would give this book a 3.5 if I could, but I'll give it a 4, because I don't think it deserves a 3.

I instantly related to Ellie in the death of her "other half" best friend, as I have had one of those myself, with a person I would drop everything for, especially if her child needed me. I could relate to the loss of such a significant friend, and although not to death, Ellie's desperate pleas in her mind for Lucy to just come back to her resonated with me in such a deep and familiar way. I fou...more
Aly
From the very first sentence I was immediately in love with this book. I enjoyed it the whole way through, but my first impression was slightly better than my last, unfortunately. It's Ellie's story of learning to live without her best friend Lucy- a part of her own identity- whom she didn't know as well as she believed. It's her story of loving Lucy's precious daughter, and letting that love open her heart back up to her estranged husband to rekindle their relationship as well. It is beautifull...more
Christie
Do we really know the people we love?

Ellie Lerner's already problematic life is turned upside down when her best friend, Lucy, is murdered while walking her daughter, Sophie, to school. Ellie flies to London to be with Lucy's husband, Greg, and daughter, leaving behind her own husband, Phillip.

As Ellie settles into life with Greg and Sophie, she pushes her own problems further away. And it is clear from the beginning that she has problems. When, after the funeral, Phillip suggests that she come...more
Cara
Ellie drops everything & jumps on a plane after receiving the devastating news that her best friend has been murdered. She travels across the Atlantic to London to be with her God daughter Sophie. A little girl who witnessed the 'accident' with her mother and has become mute. Ellie can't turn her back on this little girl and leaves behind her life in America to be there for Sophie. They share the children's book The Secret Garden to work through Sophie's trauma. Ellie also has a need to come...more
Greenfairylv
A moving story about dealing with loss and moving forward. When Ellie gets the news her best friend Lucy has been murdered she uproots from the life she shares with her husband in America to go and be with Lucy's daughter Sophie and husband Greg in Notting Hill.
Ellie's refusal to come back home creates tension in her own marriage. She decides its more important to devote herself to helping Lucy's eight year old daughter heal.
"I wish I were really young, like you. Eight is, like the best age."
"R...more
Carole
Ellie, an American, goes to London to look after her best friend Lucy's daughter, Sophie who is 8, leaving behind her husband, Phillip, in Boston. Lucy has been tragically murdered and her husband, Greg, and Sophie (who has stopped talking) are devastated.

While Ellie and Sophie grow closer, Ellie and Phillip gradually grow apart. She tells Phillip that she's staying indefinitely, she believes she's doing the right thing looking after Sophie and they both find comfort in reading Ellie's favourite...more
Andrea
After You by Julie Buxbaum is a wonderful, powerful novel. Ellie Lerner's world is shattered the day she receives the call that he best friend of over three decades, Lucy, has been brutally murdered. Lucy left behind an eight-year-old daughter named Sophie who is mourning the loss of her mother, made worse because she witnessed the death. Ellie drops everything in her life to rush to across the ocean to England to help Sophie and Lucy's husband, Greg. When Ellie decides to stay in England for a...more
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Please check out my two novels, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE and AFTER YOU, both now out in paperback.

Please check out my website www.juliebuxbaum.com for more information about both books.

Or to follow my recent shenanigans, please check out my blog, JULIE HAS WRITER'S BLOG, at www.juliebuxbaum.com/blog/

One of my favorite things about being a novelist is the opportunity to talk to reading groups. If you...more
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The Opposite of Love

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“Five years ago, I said vows. And I believe in vows. I meant them, and not just when I said them out loud for an audience to hear but as a motto and a life choice. For as long as we both shall live. I hadn't anticipated the sandy flow of feeling, the yin-yang of love and dread, or the residual buildup of grievances and the slow draining of the benefit of doubt. In good times and in bad. Yes, sure, but in my naivete, I interpreted this as external; we would support each other when the world imposed and intruded. No one tells you that it's the internal that's the real challenge: those moments of decisiveness equal to taking a vow, when you feel the clawing grip of your pormises.” 8 likes
“I wish I were really young, like you. Eight is, like, the best age."
"Really?"
"I don't know. To be honest, I don't remember being eight."
"That's good."
"Why?"
"I don't want to remember being eight either.”
5 likes
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