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After I Left You
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After I Left You

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the fierce sting of betrayal, the heartache, the secret she carries around with her, the last night she spent with them all.

Then a chance
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 30th 2014 by Black Swan (first published August 15th 2013)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  229 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Bill Kupersmith
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fortunately St. Bart’s College, Oxford, is fictitious because when you’ve finished this book you’ll know Anna & her undergraduate friends so well that you’d likely make a fool of yourself by showing up @ the porter’s lodge & having a fit when you weren’t recognised as a member of the college. The novel feels that it reads very slowly (tho’ it really doesn’t) but the effect is to draw us readers in so far we think we were characters too. Perhaps not one of Anna’s close friends but easily one of t ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Anna left Oxford University in the early nineties, cutting off all ties with her fellow students but why? Alison Mercer does a fantastic job right from the first page in drawing us into Anna’s world both now and in the past.

When we first meet Anna she is thrilled to be leaving home, she has outgrown her mother, her step-father Gareth and step-sister Tippy (nick-named because as a little child she kept tipping things over) and is eager to start a new life reading English at the famous university.
Big Bertha
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Yay! My first Goodreads giveaway, thank you Goodreads and Transworld Publishing!

I loved it…just everything about it; the storyline, characters, setting, style of writing…and now I'll stop gushing (put the bottle of wine away….it is Christmas!!!) and try to explain why I loved it so much.

I requested this book not only because the publishers promotional blurb appealed but also because it's set in Oxford, a city I know well having grown up there.

'After I Left You' starts in the present day when Ann
Kirsty (Book - Love - Bug)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
The publisher's description of this book grabbed my attention, and I'm glad that it did, because it's a book I very much enjoyed.

The book is split into parts, Anna in the present day and Anna in the past at university in Oxford. It's clear from the present day chapters that something happened whilst Anna was at university. It's clear she split up from her (then) love of her life, it's clear she was betrayed and it's clear one of the group is no longer with them BUT it isn't obvious who she was
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read and enjoyed Alison Mercer’s first book Stop the Clock, so I was delighted to receive her new book from a goodreads giveaway.
I loved this book, it drew me in from the first chapter and kept me reading into the small hours. I’m a fan of first person narratives and dual time stories and this book has both. It's well written, has interesting characters and a great story line. An excellent read and fully recommended.

Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Soaking wet with dripping hair and carrying a gruesome bridesmaid’s dress is not how Anna would have anticipated bumping into her ex – if she’d thought about bumping into him at all after seventeen years. But that’s exactly how Anna comes face to face with the love of her life, the one who hurt her so badly and how she once again connects with old friends from University.
After three years at an Oxford college, when Anna has been part of the ‘cool’ group and fallen in love, things end badly and s
Liz Barnsley
This was an absolutely wonderful and evocative novel, just the type of story I love to read where an old incident shadows a new life and over the course of the tale we find out what, where, who, when, why and any number of other questions. Beautifully written with some well drawn and heart warming characters this really was a top notch read.

When Anna runs into her ex -boyfriend unexpectedly it brings into sharp focus some upsetting and life changing events from her past at an Oxford university –
Shaz Goodwin
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Alison Mercer’s Stop the Clock (you can read my review here) and follow her blog so when I saw that After I Left You was on Netgalley, I couldn’t resist requesting.

Anna bumps into ex, Victor Rose, in 2011. This leads on to a meeting with Meg, another person from the Uni friendship group. Straight away I had questions. What happened? Why did it end so badly? Why was Anna not safe with them at Uni?

Through alternating timelines … the present leading up to the event when they’re all togeth
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anna, at a crossroads in her life, bumps into Victor a friend from her university days at Oxford. He wants her to stay in touch with the group of friends they had at University and Anna does visit Meg who is also at a crossroads in her life because her long term partner, Jason, has left her and their children. Anna receives an invitation to the Gaudy - a social occasion unique to Oxford - and decides to go.

What happened twenty years ago to make Anna sever all ties with her friends is revealed in
Stephanie Wood
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the mystery in this book and was totally engrossed in learning more about each of the characters, particularly when the story recalled their University days. It was a very realistic setting and I easily imagined myself as part of the group as the tale unfolded.
Bjorg Hreinsdottir
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this one, will for sure read more books by Alison Mercer.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on: http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot....

When I first started reading this, I was gripped. I just had to find out what was so bad that had happened to Anna that had caused her to cut all ties with her university friends.

The novel is written in five parts and flits back and forth from Anna in present day to Anna as a university student. Reading older Anna and younger Anna you can see how what happened to her has changed her. As a uni student she is more carefree and happy to
Paula Sealey
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Anna bumps into Victor, an old flame from her Oxford University years, the past she has tried hard to forget begins to catch up with her. Betrayed by her best friends, carrying heartache and secrets, she faces up to the past as she attempts to shape her future.

I loved this story from the first chapter. Anna and her companions felt like friends, people you would know or could imagine knowing, they were portrayed so realistically. The setting of Oxford was also wonderfully descriptive. Each c
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is for anyone who has had a striking relationship when young and ever looked back. That's the case with Anna, the heroine of this novel, in one of the most intelligent love stories of recent times.

I was going to write it's for anyone who's been to university, as it's at Oxford that Anna has her first failed love that kind of sets her on a trajectory for life, but it's not really that (although anyone interested in 1990s undergraduate scene or has lived it will know this book is except
Jill's Book Cafe
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago ... Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present, and Anna is faced with remembering the events of that summer and the people she left behind.

This is a well told story of first loves, betrayal and how the past never leaves us. The characters are well drawn and the depiction of University life, especially in the way that friendships wax and wane brought back
Penny Hughes
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After I Left You is one of those rare books that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. The author, Alison Mercer, is definitely one to watch. I was lucky enough to receive an advance proof copy (I also read her first novel Stop The Clock). I was enthralled by After I Left You from beginning to end. The secret at the heart of the book (I won't spoil it) kept me reading well past my bedtime. The writing is faultless - crisp, clean and effortless - and the characters well drawn. A ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I simply couldn't put it down! Totally hooked from the first page, the characters jumped out of the story and were quite real to me, it was so beautifully written. I immersed myself in the Oxford of Anna and her friends, enjoying their company enormously.

Knowing Oxford well, I was a little disappointed that the college St Barts isn't real and neither are other places the students visit...but it was a short lived disappointment and I could visualise St Barts perfectly well in my imagination!

I wi
The mystery behind Anna's past life was slowly revealed but not so slowly that I lost interest. When she revealed the underlying issues to her father, it was at just the right time to just the right person. I found it really heartbreaking to think that if this one thing hadn't happened, then the other things might not have happened either. Keith was written just right, and I hope that others in his situation have friends who can help. ...more
Ryleigh Cheese
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Randomly picked this book up at the library and didn't expect it to be quite a good read.
I liked the pacing of the book and how Anna's mysterious, haunting past slowly unfolds. Ultimately, facing her demons and rebooting her life. A hopeful little book, that's easy to read and emotional.
It reminds us that we are all humans, life is not without regret, as it is with hope. A rather nice read for the weekend.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There was a certain amount of interest on a personal level due to the main character's circumstances and where the book was set, but even without that, it is written in such a way as making the reader want to keep reading on and find out how the various pieces fit together... ...more
Jane Gregg
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked this up on the recently returned stack at the library, thinking it might be alright. I was pleasantly surprised to find it a subtle coming of age novel that was really well written. I wish it had a different title though. This reads badly. Also the cover art made it look like a blah chick lit number - editors, please note.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good easy read loved the story of student life and the full circle it went into adult life . I didn't put it down once I'd got into it ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it was welcoming from the start and easy to get into. I couldn't put it down. ...more
Joe Ng
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Easily paced story. Quite rushed towards the end. About a group of friends who, now grown up, have drifted apart due to previous happenings. Author tries to glimpse into how the protagonist is coping with revisiting past issues. Even after the conclusion, story feels unfinished, slightly unfulfilling. I think author was trying to show that the protagonist came to terms with her past, but the resolution to the promise at the start of the book felt weak.
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure about this book when I started reading it, but when I got further into it, I couldn't stop reading it. I had to find out what happened! ...more
Angelina Young
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Current story line and strong characters make After I Left You interesting and thought provoking.
K. Rash
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is not my main genre, but Wow!
Mike Jones
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book, especially the main character, Anna. A good read!
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have a been a fan of Alison Mercer’s writing since reading and falling in love with her first book Stop The Clock. Knowing how much I had loved that book, I was ever so excited to start After I Left You.

Anna has not been back to Oxford since she was at University 17 years ago, and she hasn’t seen the friends from there that she thought would be in her life forever. And Anna has tried her best to forget about her time spent there, the betrayal, the secrets, and the last night she spent with the
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
When I spotted Alison Mercer’s second novel After I Left You on Netgalley, I requested it immediately. I had heard good things about Mercer’s debut novel Stop The Clock, and I quite liked the sound of After I Left You so I couldn’t wait to give it a read and see for myself what Alison’s writing was like. I decided to dive in after finishing my latest read, which was a young adult novel, and I felt like I needed to read a bit of Chick Lit, for a change. A bit more of a serious novel, too, by all ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 11, 2015 12:29PM  

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Ali Mercer was born in Reading in 1973 and studied English at University College, Oxford. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, the poet Ian Pindar, and their two children.

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