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After Isabella

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 4th 2016 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rosie Fiore is an amazing story teller. Now I have been swept away reading After Isabella By Rosie F I am now going to read many more of her novels, so do look out in future for my reviews on Rosie's other books.
When nine year old Esther moves from Richmond to north London she starts a new school. Star pupil Isabella Mallais shows her around the school. Isabella and Esther become best friends for life.
Years later when Isabella found out that she was ill, she didn't tell anyone. The story
Linda Hepworth
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Esther and Isabella had been best friends since they were nine years old so when Isabella died Esther felt devastated. Several years later, following her divorce, she is now a single parent, concentrating on bringing up her twelve year old daughter Lucie and has a successful, but stressful career as a professor at a local university. However, she is feeling under increasing pressure, from colleagues, friends and even from Lucie, to make new relationships. At this point she also receives a letter ...more
Lola Dreamfire
The ideas and themes underpinning After Isabella will resonate with many people, especially those who have lost someone young or in the early bloom of youth. For Isabella was just that: a young woman whose life had really just begun. She was successful, well-liked and, we are told by the main character, Esther, beautiful. Then she died - of cancer.

As in life, it is the dying of Isabella rather than the ultimate absence of her - she isn't ever really absent from the novel - that has shaped
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: real-readers
Review copy courtesy of Real Readers at

Esther has lost her best friend to cancer - her cool, fun-loving, rebellious ‘soul sister’ who dragged her away from her tendency to dullness and pushed her to achieve the good life she is enjoying now. And she is in a good place - a few years escaped from an unhappy marriage, she has a delightful pre-teen daughter, her own home and a well-paid, responsible and very busy job she enjoys. No man, but she plans to remedy that soon.

Sam Szanto
Book review

This is a book to persevere with, as I found myself plodding through the first third wanting to give up on something which seemed irretrievably bleak and humourless. After that, however, the pace picked up and as the protagonist's life started to unravel, she became rather less irritating. By the end, I was gripped to the narrative. I have three main criticisms of the book, however. Firstly, the laziness of the writer in making the protagonist, Esther, an English professor - a job
Maddy Broome
This was quite an enjoyable read although there were some parts that were not completely convincing and I thought the ending was a bit too neat. The review copy I was sent (by nudgebooks) compared the author Rosie Fiore to Maggie O'Farrell but I don't think this is of the same quality of writing as that.
The novel shows how everyday events such as bereavement; work stress; stroppy teenagers can have a domino effect on a person's life. At the funeral of Isabella,her best friend since childhood,
Aug 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Esther and Isabella was best friends since school when one day Isabella dies from cancer and Esther is devastated. Years later Esther meets Isabella's sister Sally (who looked after her when she was dying) and takes her under her wing. As when you first meet Sally she is shy and timid.

Esther life is not going so well, Her colleagues at work saying she needs to get out more, The death of her mother taking her own life. The trials of being a single mother and her job not going so well.

Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to see a preview of this book.

I found the story utterly compelling. It starts off well, gets even better, then gets better still. The pace is fast but thewriting is beautiful and the plot is brilliantly conceived.

There are a few classic scenes that keep haunting me, which I won't spoil. The characters are rich and the relationships are real and complex.

I shall definitely be exploring the writer's back catalogue.

All in all, a brilliant account of the ambivalence of emotions...
Mistress  #darklings
This book is beautifully written, flows well and makes for an easy read.
The author takes on in this book a tumultuous amount of deep emotional scenarios.
And in this novel Rosie Fiore succeeds. She is an author able to deal with and articulate perfectly, the struggles faced by Esther A lady in her mid-life, whose having to cope with family & relationships. How she copes with life, love & loss, and all the changes they bring.
Although at times Esther was hard to connect with, I found on
Miss Tonya-Ann Carpenter
I honestly have to say that I have never had a book make me as emotional as this one.
It is such a well written piece of literature, and just as soon as you are getting used to one of the turns in the book.....bam....there is another one. Was lucky enough to receive this to be reviewed by #TBC and it really is not a genre I would normally go for, but oh my god I am so happy that I did. As sad as it is in some places, there are still some really uplifting moments and I thoroughly enjoyed getting
Nicola Mitchell
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Rosie Fiore and TBC on FB for this arc. An interesting read following the lives of Esther and Lucie (her daughter). Esther's childhood friend, Isabella has died as the story starts and we focus on Esther's adjustment to life after this devastating period. I don't want to give anything away, but suffice to say this story shows what can happen when you think you have total control. Would definitely recommend.
3:5-4 stars

A beautifully written book on the complexities of relationships.

The story unfolds and to begin with I was unsure where it was heading. Its a well thought out story with a variety of characters.

It's a bit difficult to review without revealing the plot.

A lovely piece of well written woman's fiction, that is haunting and sad.

Thanks to TBC for a review copy.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
The 'heroine' of this book was so self-absorbed and self-destructive that I found it very hard going.
I chose it because, from the blurb, I had thought it would be about caring for aged parents but in fact it was about someone not coping with things going wrong.
Book was ok, started off great, ended a little flatly.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Shows the good, bad and ugly in people while still making you want things to work out.
Recommend if you feel like you need a cry.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit depressing for me - when Esthers' childhood friend Isabella dies of cancer she is broken. Years later she meets Isabella's sister Sally who cared for Isabella before she died and also her mother as she battled dementia.

Its' really about how these characters coped after these events that the book is all about but although well written and thought out it was just a bit depressing for me. I think it was a difficult read and you really need to persevere with it to get to the end and
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow, just wow where do I start with this beautiful novel?

After Isabella opens with our protagonist Esther delivering the eulogy at her her best friend Isabella's funeral. Isabella, ironically so full of life, has been stolen by cancer at the age of 40, leaving a void that nothing and no-one can fill. Isabella was the driving force behind Esther. Pushing her into accomplishing things she never believed possible, she wouldn't have the life she's living now were it not for Isabella.

Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get this advance reading copy through TBC on Facebook. The book starts with the devastating death of Esther’s best friend Isabella, it jumps forward 8 years when Esther is facing up to the onset of middle age and being a divorced single parent to 12 year old Lucie.
Living her life around work and bringing up Lucie, Esther social world is shrinking. Well meaning colleagues start to try to make her change the way she lives her life, telling her she needs to get out more, meet
Glenda Worth
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After Isabella by Rosie Fiore faces head on the problems of caring for someone you're close to, having to give up your own life but then trying to rebuild it when they've gone.
Esther's best friend Isabella died of cancer devastating Esther. Years later She reconnects with Sally, Isabella's sister who cared for Isabella and then their mother through years of dementia and is now starting to get her life back.
Esther finds Sally to be clingy and intense, something she finds hard to cope with. As
Louise Riddleston
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a sad story from beginning to end with a few lighthearted and haunting moments in between. The story follows the life of Esther, best friend to Isabella and single mum to Lucie. The story begins with the sad tale of her childhood best friend Isabella who is dying from cancer and being cared for by her younger sister Sally.
After Isabella and Sally’s mum both pass away Sally befriends Esther and Lucie at one point you have to question how Sally views the friendship. Esther has many hurdles
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Real Readers/ Nudge for the opportunity to review the following book.

Isabella, dear friend of Esther is diagnosed with cancer and dies shortly before her 40th birthday. Sally, isabella's sister has been nursing their mother who has dementia, who unfortunately dies leaving sally lonely and unloved. Esther upon meeting sally again, takes Sally under her wing and befriends her. Sally who was shy and socially awkward, finds a new lease of life, including a new boyfriend phil, who happens
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esther is devastated when her best friend, Isabella, dies. Some years later she encounters Sally, Isabella's sister, at a funeral and Sally enters her life. Sally has cared for both Isabella and her mother through their illnesses, cancer and dementia respectively. Dowdy, naïve and lonely, she wants to be friends with a reticent Esther. Meanwhile, Esther, whilst fairly content, is stuck in a rut of work and a humdrum homelife when she endures a loss of her own and her life takes a downwards ...more
Kyriacou Crabtree
I was very fortunate to receive a copy of this wonderful book After Isabella by Rosie Fiore from Real Readers powered by nudge. The book begins with the death of Esther’s very close childhood friend Isabella, they were very close like sisters as children and it jumps forward a few years where Esther is a divorced single women with a 12 year old girl called Lucie.

Esther’s life is not going too well, it revolves around work and taking care and bringing up Lucie, her social life is nearly not
Maxine Wetherall
When Esther’s childhood best friend Isabella dies of cancer, she is devastated. Years later she is bought together with Isabella’s sister Sally, who cared for Isabella in her last days.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a surprisingly good read, taking you through Esther’s journey through love friendship and life as a mother and juggling a career. It has so many situation that many women can relate to and think I have been through that. It follows Esther’s relationship with her Isabella’s
Karen Farrow
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to to be given this book to read by TBConFB in return for an honest review. The book is beautifully written and deals with lots of emotions throughout from childhood friendships, growing children, ageing parent, death and new relationships in middle age as well as all the other things that go with life, jobs, exes and day to day life. In all honesty I really enjoyed the book and the only reason it has got four stars and not five is that I could not form any great feelings for ...more
Donna Irwin
This was a really well written book about family, relationships, loss, coping with life and it explored things well but I struggled with at times as I really didn't see where it was going and I didn't like the the oath Esther's character took in the second half of the book. It didn't seem to fit with the Esther we saw in the first half. It covered some tough themes such as euthanasia and dementia.
The writing was wonderful though and the book will stay with me because of that.
Thanks to TBC for a
S. Meredith
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would probably a 3.5 star for me, if I could give half stars. The story of a lady in middle age, friendships, lovers, who to trust and who not to, and how circumstances can change relationships for better or worse, but our choices can change things too.

An easy holiday read, but somehow I never felt attached to the main character, or felt I truly understood her. I wonder if it is a story I will come back to reflect on in future though, and I do feel it would do well on screen. With thanks to
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took a while to get into this book but once I did I really enjoyed it and finished the last third very quickly. It's difficult to say much about the plot without giving too much away but it is beautifully written and demonstrates the complexities of relationships so well. I found Esther a bit of an unsympathetic character at times but I could also see why she is the way she is.
Thank you to TBC and Rosie for my arc of this book.
Elizabeth Worts
First half of this book was almost like a Mills and Boon and I was tempted several times to abandon it. I found Esther infuriating in the way everything in her life had to be overthought. I also found the over use of the word 'unsurprisingly' very annoying - is it a word?
The story line picked up dramatically in the second half and became very readable.
Michelle Stafford
I was lucky to receive an ARC of this book from Facebook's TBC.
A beautifully written book which deals with so many emotional issues.
I really enjoyed the characters.
This book really pulled at my heart strings and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
A definite 5* from me.
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Rosie Fiore was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied drama at the University of the Witwatersrand and has worked as a writer for theatre, television, magazines, advertising, comedy and the corporate market.

Her first two novels, This Year's Black and Lame Angel were published by Struik in South Africa. This Year's Black was longlisted for the South African Sunday Times
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