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After You

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  2,910 Ratings  ·  316 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an After You discussion guide.

When tragedy strikes across the ocean, Ellie Lerner drops everything—her marriage, her job, her life in the Boston suburbs—to travel to London and pick up the pieces of her best friend Lucy’s life. While Lucy’s husband, Greg, retreats into himself, his and Lucy’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, has simply stopped
Hardcover, 353 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 :)
Nov 04, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
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 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 front of her 8-year-old daughter, Ellie's
Aug 03, 2010 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Apr 15, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these complicated character driven stories. This one was a little about who makes us a home or family and recovery from loss. Very complicated and yet love covers it.
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
Jul 27, 2009 Charlene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jill  Lynn
May 10, 2011 Jill Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 22, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Trupti Dorge
Sep 24, 2009 Trupti Dorge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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
Aug 28, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 10, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2009 gautami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
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
Jul 19, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 16, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jul 06, 2009 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2010 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
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
Feb 26, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, england
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2010 Marci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alicia Jones
Aug 17, 2015 Alicia Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt this book in a major way! so apparently it's a great book. I'm still uncertain about how I feel about the end. for whatever reason I read the discussion questions at the end of this one, and they really got me thinking about the story. it is an incredible book. I was impressed.
Julie Ekkers
Jun 27, 2010 Julie Ekkers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2015 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a quick read due to how mindless and simple it was. It had one easy to follow plot line that involved a couple who had lost their connection and a friend who lost her best friend and was compelled to connect with the child left behind. Pretty predictable story with sprinkles of unrealistic events. 3.5 stars
Aug 20, 2016 Allyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining, fun, story of an American in England dealing with loss. I would read this author again. There was language here and there.
Kiana Cook
After You is one of the clearest examples of a “meh” book I’ve come across. Normally, this wouldn’t irritate me so much—sometimes I appreciate a fluffy “meh” book, one that requires hardly any brainpower whatsoever. But in the case of After You it feels so cheap, because this story really did have the potential to rise above the level of predictable, cutesy chick lit. But instead it sinks into clichés and retreads the same things Buxbaum has explored in her other novels. It is a safe novel, one ...more
Renita D'Silva
Sad yet heartwarming.
Sep 19, 2015 Raine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I can say about AFTER YOU is that it was so interesting. The depth of the characters keeps the reader engaged. Other readers may be able to figure out the big reveals before they happened, but this reader could not, which made the read extremely enjoyable for me!

Ellie is living her life in Boston with her husband when tragedy strikes her lifelong best friend, who lives in London. Ellie travels to London to help care for Lucy's daughter Sophie. Ellie is very nurturing, and comes to the concl
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
This is one of those books you pick up intending to read only a few pages and then suddenly find you can't put down. If you like authors like Elizabeth Berg and Elin Hilderbrand, I highly recommend this book about friendship, marriage and the healing power of books.

Ellie and Lucy have been best friends since childhood. When Lucy is attacked and murdered while walking her daughter to school, Ellie drops everything - her job, her husband - and flies to the UK. Lucy's 8 year old daughter Sophie, wh
Feb 23, 2015 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
Thepinkpig Abides
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Any book that references The Secret Garden gets my attention. In this story of loss and grief, love and devotion, burial and rebirth, is multi-layered and thought-provoking. When Ellie's best friend Lucy is murdered, she flies to London to take care of Lucy's eight year old daughter. There is so much more to it than Lucy's death. Other themes like guilt, betrayal, and worthiness are dealt with.
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2015 Reading Chal...: After You by Julie Buxbaum 1 12 Oct 23, 2015 04:31PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 14, 2015 11:17AM  
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Please check out my two novels, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE and AFTER YOU, both now out in paperback. My first YA novel, TELL ME THREE THINGS, debuts April 2016.

Please check out my website for more information about my books.

Or to follow my recent shenanigans, please check out my blog, JULIE HAS WRITER'S BLOG, at

One of my favorite things about being a novel
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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.” 10 likes
“I wish I were really young, like you. Eight is, like, the best age."
"I don't know. To be honest, I don't remember being eight."
"That's good."
"I don't want to remember being eight either.”
More quotes…