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

Read Excerpt* *Different edition


3.80  ·  Rating details ·  17,030 ratings  ·  1,894 reviews
From the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sister comes a compelling, thrilling story of a mother who will do anything to protect her child.
   The school is on fire. Her children are inside.
   Grace runs toward the burning building, desperate to reach them.
   In the aftermath of the devastating fire which tears her family apart, Grace embarks on a mission
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Broadway Books (first published June 9th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,030 ratings  ·  1,894 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Afterwards
Simon Lipson
As abysmal as Sister was readable. For a start, the protagonists are bloody angels or spirits or something, telling the story (too dull to precis here, but it's about who was responsible for burning a public school down - good riddance to it, I say) whilst their corporeal selves lie comatose in hospital having been injured in the blaze. I thought this madness would resolve itself in something satisfyingly realistic, but no, it appears Ms Lupton is happy for her 'spirits' to communicate with each ...more
5 stars -Dutch paperback - 🍀🍀🍀
Quote from the book : Arson, sombody on purpose set fire to te school .....🥀🥀🥀
Later is the second novel of Rosamund Lipton. It sucks you instantly into the story. A crime is committed and mother and daughter fighting for their lives. One has to let go of live and family. My throat was think, my tears rolling of my checks. Love to read another novel by her hand. 🌼🌼🌼
5 sterren - Nederlandse paperback - ☘️☘️☘️
Quote uit het boek: Het was brandstichting. Had ik zonder het
Jul 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid i was really disappointed with this, Sister was fantastic but this certainly wasn't. The mother-and-daughter-as-disembodied-spirits just didn't work for me, Grace talking to her hubby was really irritating and sometimes i wasn't even sure WHO she was meant to be addressing! There was far too much gushing sentimentality, very corny lines and why so much overuse of italics?? I didn't care about any of the characters either and all these things combined made this a bit of a slog. Maybe i ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review And More Like It On My Blog!

3.25 out of 5

Afterwards was a lot of things for me: frustrating, alienating, weird, intriguing, and eventually, quite moving. There's a lot of hype built around this newish author, largely due to the wild success and continued love for her first novel, Sister. With that in mind, I went into this sophomore effort with high hopes that were never quite met. There's a lot of potential in this novel about mothers and daughters, love, and independence but i
Rebecca McNutt
Disturbing and dark, yet a powerful story of family loyalty, Afterwards is full of suspense, mystery and terror.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Rosamund Lupton's debut novel 'Sister' last year. You may remember me raving about it - it was a fantastic read. I jumped at the chance to read her second novel - Afterwards. Another absolutely brilliant read - one I would highly, highly recommend!

I was hooked from the opening paragraph of the prologue.

"I couldn't move, not even a little finger or a flicker of an eye. I couldn't open my mouth to scream....Only one thing for it, I said to myself, thinking of you, and I slipped out of the
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange concept. I rather like it as an idea to consider as possible. There was too much drama & repetition & the culprit was pretty obvious to me all the time. Some folks say they had trouble following the pronouns/characters but it seemed clear enough to me. Maybe you need a muddled mind to follow it! However, I turned the pages as fast as I could and I lost sleep (lots of sleep....all sleep) finishing it. Not really as good as her book, "Sister," but still a very good read!! ...more
Warning: I shouldn't have read this. It's not my kind of novel and this is by no means an unpartial review.

I hugely disliked the central character and she is pretty much what this book is all about. What I found so objectionable was her outlook on life. It's summed up neatly in this extract in which she talks about how she felt when she first met her husband.

'In that prim little tea shop you told me that you were desperate to be away from the confines of university and out there doing 'stuff'.
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

This book starts off with a fascinating premise - a mother and daughter that are close to death after a tragic accident, are both in bodiless spirit forms, are lucky enough to find one another in the hospital where they can communicate together. Sadly, that was the only fascinating thing about this novel, which is essentially a family dynamics drama with a mystery thrown in as a subplot.

Parenting, parenting, parenting. If you relish in exploring every literary context pos
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rosamund Lupton

Speedy Summary...

A fire at a school leaves devastation in its aftermath...cause of the fire?  It is believed to be arson.

My Thoughts After Reading...

This book begins so sweetly and then suddenly there is smoke, a fire, and devastation.  Jenny and her mum and one other student are the seriously injured.  It was a bit confusing in the beginning...I have to say...because although Jenny and her mum were injured...they were having sort of out of body experiences watching w
Cleopatra  Pullen
Afterwards is not a conventional story being narrated by Grace a woman who has left her body in a hospital bed. Grace is in a coma but her supernatural self is on a mission to find out who started the fire which she and her beloved daughter Jenny were so terribly injured. Jenny has also left her badly burnt body in intensive care unit and together unseen by anyone else they set about piecing together the events that led up to the fire, on sports day at a prestigious private school.

This book has
Jul 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I can't even finish this book. Sister was really good. This is awful. I skipped to the end to see what happens (something I've done many times) but the ends didn't seem to justify the turgid writing I would need to endure to get there. OK, it wasn't turgid, but just so difficult to read! A floating spirit wife talking to "you", her husband whilst trying to uncover a mystery that is just plain nasty? It was hard to maintain just who was being discussed at any time. It's left a bad taste in my mou ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book just sucked me in from the first page. I would give it a 4.5 stars. There are just so many layers to this book. The central theme involves a fire started at a school, ruled arson, that leaves two critically injured. Those two turn out to be mother and daughter. The story focuses on this family and who could have wanted to burn down the school. As it turns out, while mother and daughter are near death they are able to leave their bodies and communicate with one another. They are also pi ...more
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This was a very involving book and it drew me in from the very start. On the surface, it seems like a very tragic but simple story, but Rosamund Lupton does a wonderful job moving beyond that. She tells the story through the voice of the mother in spirit form as she goes back and forth in time and memory to discover the truth and understand why what happened happened.
It is difficult to assign this book to a specific genre. It encompasses so many areas, and still really is a story about family.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was the first book I 've read from the author and I liked it.
It starts as a mysterry-crime novel, but it turns out to so much more. There is enough drama and you also see what most of the characters in this book think about their family and what they do to help/protect them-even if it is morally wrong.

Perhaps, because being a mother, I think there will be nothing I wouldn't do to protect and keep my children safe and happy..
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've enjoyed this book. Another great literary work by Rosamund Lupton.

The POV is a wonderful idea coming from a person the other characters can't see. I don't want to include spoilers here. I loved Sister by Rosamund Lupton and this one is as impressive and as powerful as her first novel.
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
At first I was like ‘what the feck is this,’ I could barely make sense of the supernatural element or who Grace was speaking to…I could so easily have given up on this book as it took at least 150 pages for me to grasp as the second person narration can be challenging to follow but I just adore Rosamund Lupton’s novels and thought I’d give it a good go before abandoning the book. I am so so happy I persevered as it turned out to be one amazing, incredible, thrilling, suspenseful mystery thriller ...more
Kris Irvin
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Holy. Crap.

This book just skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list. Have I ever read a book so intense and moving as Afterwards? No. No I have not. I kid you not my friends, this book - the last page, I cried. I have never actually sobbed during a book before. This one killed me. It broke my heart.

And it was a beautiful agony.

Now for the bad parts - it's very, very British, which I happen to adore, but I know some Americans can't translate to our cousins across the Pond. If you don't have a
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad Rosamund Lipton became a novelist. I absolutely loved her first book 'Sister' and loved her second one, 'Afterwards' just as much. She touches so well on the depth of relationships and love, in this instance, mainly a mother and her daughter, but the complexity goes so much further. Her novels are powerful and unique and I can't wait to read her next one. She has become one of my favourite authors and I would highly recommend her novels to anyone.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this book, had enjoyed Sister so though i would try this. Its quite strange at times but actually i did enjoy it a lot. I literally could not put this book down, just had to know what happened next.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to discuss Afterwards, by Rosamund Lupton, because it defies categorization.

On the one hand, and at its most basic, it is a mystery. Grace runs into a burning school building to rescue her daughter Jenny, who is trapped inside. As Grace and Jenny recover from their wounds, Grace learns that the fire was arson, and she sets out to discover who is to blame.

But this book is so much more.

It is the story of parents. Grace and her husband, Michael, have 17-year-old Jenny and 8-year-ol
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Grace Covey is at Adam, her 8 year old son's school for their sports day. Jenny, her 17 year old daughter, is inside, operating as the medical officer for the day. Everyone is having fun, it is hot, when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. The school is on fire, high up, smoke coming from the widely opened windows. Grace races toward the school, then sees Adam outside, being cared for by the daughter of a friend. But Jenny is still inside. She runs flat-out toward the building, then inside and up ...more
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am seriously loving this author at the moment! I really enjoyed Sister; such a captivating tale of two sisters love. As a girl who only has one sister I found the whole story incredibly moving and what an amazingly shocking ending.
Now Lupton has released her second novel Afterwards and it's another heart wrenching story! This time focused around a mother's love and the million different emotions that includes. Somehow through this storyline she has woven a crime novel into it as well, with t
Elva Kenley
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although this was a very readable book, in terms of being a page turner with an intriguing whodunnit mystery...I found myself quite irritated most of the time.

Overall I found the whole plot too contrived, the twists and turns were not particularly believable - not because the situations were outrageous or because of the lovely bones-style conceit - but because they didn't seem true to characters. The characterisation seemed to twist out of shape to fit plot contrivances. When the villain is fina
L.A. Starks
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I generally steer clear of novels that are what's known in the trade as "child jep"--children in jeopardy--Rosamund Lupton writes with such power I made an exception to my rule.

"Afterwards" is well worth the emotional intensity this thriller pulls from its readers. Without giving anything away, mothers in particular understand down to our bones the situation and outcome Lupton presents.

A small point: the POV shifts can be challenging to follow. Three even smaller points--a) private school
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘What is there afterwards?’ an existential question Rosamund Lupton has obviously thought about when she chose the title of her new book. Grace is at sports day on a bright and warm summer day. Suddenly, the lovely afternoon turns into a nightmare: the school is on fire, and she knows that her daughter is inside. She runs to rescue her. The police soon find out that it is arson. Who committed that terrible crime? The culprit must be arrested as soon as possible, because Grace’s family is in dang ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I think if you're a fan of Lovely Bones but want something less inspirational in tone, then this might be your book. Unfortunately, despite my love of the woo-woo and supernatural/paranormal/just-plain-odd, I really didn't click with this book's conceit or the narrator. I made it about one hundred pages and quit, daunted by the remaining 300.

There are a few reasons why this didn't work for me, starting with the heroine, Grace. Or maybe it was the writing style first, and then Grace. Told by Grac
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The last of the senses to go is love.”

I was blown away by Lupton’s “Afterwards”. It’s incredibly inventive and though it’s on the romance side of the mystery genre it wasn’t cloying. Likewise the fantasy or paranormal elements feel believable. The story is told in almost omniscient, first person, present tense by a mother who is a fulltime homemaker. Grace has a son, Adam who’s just turned eight and a beautiful seventeen year old daughter, Jenny. On Adam’s school sports day Jenny is working as
Don't start reading this book until you can read it all the way through to the end. A combination of suspense, mystery, and family drama, this book will stay with you long after it's finished. While I enjoyed Lupton's first novel, I found I couldn't remember much of it later. I sincerely doubt I will forget this story for a long time to come.

Narrated by a mother who rescued her daughter from a burning building, the story weaves in and out as Grace tries to discover who would set fire to a school
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who is this suitable for? 8 69 Oct 07, 2013 11:12PM  
Typos 5 61 Aug 04, 2013 06:37AM  
Read It Forward: * AFTERWARDS by Rosamund Lupton 1 44 Feb 27, 2012 01:51PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Kind Words (Terrier Rand, #1)
  • This Perfect World
  • Magpie Lane
  • Cuckoo
  • The Baby Auction
  • One Step Behind
  • The Missing One
  • How to Disappear
  • Die a Little
  • Finding Nouf (Nayir Sharqi & Katya Hijazi #1)
  • A Death Most Monumental (DCI Logan Crime Thrillers, #8)
  • The Fowler Family Business
  • The Curious Case of Faith & Grace (The Trial Series)
  • Her Final Prayer (Detective Clara Jefferies #2)
  • One Moment
  • Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea (Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, #5)
  • The House at Mermaid's Cove
  • The Heatwave
See similar books…
Rosamund Lupton's new book, 'Three Hours' is a Sunday Times best seller

‘A brilliant literary thriller...reminiscent of both Greek tragedy and Shakespeare’ The Sunday Times.

To buy:

Her debut novel, 'Sister' was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, a Sunday Times and New York Times best seller and the fastest selling debut in WHSmiths'history. Her next two book

Related Articles

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
31 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I'm a sliver-thin light, diamond sharp, that can slip through gaps in the world we know. I will come into your dreams and speak soft words when you think of me. There is no happy ever after - but there is an afterwards.
This isn't our ending.”
“You told me once that the last of the senses to go is hearing. But you're wrong. The last of the senses to go is love.” 11 likes
More quotes…