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Afterlife

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  22 reviews

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine * The New York Times * Vogue * Bustle * Buzzfeed * The Millions * The Lily *Goodreads * Library Journal * LitHub * Electric Literature

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

“A stunning

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Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Algonquin Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  40 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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Jeanette
3.5 stars

We women often tend to put other people's needs above our own. Even when we are facing crucial issues in our lives, we will set those issues aside if we think someone else's problems are more pressing. This is exactly what Antonia Vega does in Afterlife. Less than a year ago, her husband Sam died suddenly, and the pain of loss is still raw. She keeps telling herself she is going to make herself number one, but she gets sucked into other people's drama and puts her own healing process on
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Rachel
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez is a wonderful piece of literary fiction. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Alvarez, but as I enjoyed this so much, I am going to be sure to read more.

This book brings into play a lot of family and social dynamics: sisters/relationships with siblings, family death, death of a spouse and soulmate, mental illness, and balancing one’s needs while also addressing other’s needs.

This book also addresses a lot of emotional issues as well: love, loss, and acceptance
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Jacqie
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review.

This novel tackles how we care for each other. Antonia, the main character, is a recently retired professor of English originally from the Dominican Republic. Just as she retired, her husband died of a heart attack, which means that her retirement has turned into a time of mourning. Antonia lives and secludes herself in her house in the Vermont (I believe) countryside. She starts getting pulled back into the world when a young
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Sacha
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication.
Corvus
Afterlife is author Julia Alvarez's first adult novel in 15 years and is also the first book I have read by the author. I won this book via goodreads giveaways and had entered because the story seemed like something I would like and would tackle themes that are exceedingly important in the world we are currently living in. Unfortunately, to get right to the point, the book was just not very good. I had to force myself to finish it.

The writing style does remind me somewhat of an author who tries
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Joy Messinger
[4 stars] Julia Alvarez’s first adult fiction release in 15 years is a story of sisterhood amidst grief, loss, hurt, and repair. One thing I love about Alvarez’s writing is the depth with which she writes women and their relationships, and Afterlife is no exception. Unlike her best known works, this timeline is relatively linear, stays neatly within its given decade, and roots itself primarily in rural Vermont rather than jumping back and forth to the Trujillo-era Dominican Republic. Afterlife’s ...more
Laura
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
For such a short book, Afterlife packed a lot of power. Antonia is a recent widow and the second of four sisters. She is trying to navigate her new life after her husband Sam's death and her retirement as a college professor. Her older sister is missing and not well. A pregnant young Mexican girl desperately needs her help. When in doubt, Antonia often thinks of what Sam would say or do in her place. Sam, who Antonia thinks was kinder, more patient than her, would know the answer to all her ...more
MK Brunskill-Cowen
First of all - thank you Algonquin for the ARC. This book is absolutely beautifully written. Alvarez's pr0se is poetic - the cuckoo still inspires a longing. While I don't get a chance read much, I read this book in one day, and wanted to re-read it as soon as I finished. A book for our times.
Melissa
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Thank you to Goodreads for this giveaway opportunity.
Alma
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost a year after the unexpected death of her husband Antonia wanders through life in her small Vermont town, alternately bewildered and angry. Her fog is lifted as she helps a very pregnant undocumented teenager with no place to stay. Antonia feels herself becoming alive through the good deeds she does in Sam’s name. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress....
Janet
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
4.5 stars. Lovely, honest storytelling. I love Julia Alvarez.
Michael  Berquist
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review as part of First Reads.

This book hooked me on this winter holiday and I read it in one sitting.

Afterlife is a beautiful meditation on the themes of love, death and the lives we live in between. The characters are rich, funny, and engaging. I loved the main character and her reflections on the lives of her sisters, her husband and the literature that she loves and lives. Another great addition to the Latin American
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Laura Hill
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 7th, 2020.

Antonia Vega: recently and painfully widowed, recently retired Professor of English, of Dominican descent, the second of four sisters with wildly divergent but equally strong personalities. While trying to focus on her Afterlife — “No longer a teacher at the college, no longer volunteering and serving on a half dozen boards, no
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Jessica Villarreal
Thanks to Algonquin for sending me an arc for review.

I was kind of disappointed with this book tbh. I liked where the book was going in the beginning as Antonia is confronted with the death of her husband and the pregnant teen. She needs to essentially do a lot of soul searching to figure out what kind of person she wants to be when she doesn't have her husband pushing her to be "good." However, I feel like it just verged into this whole story about the relationship with her sisters and some
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Anne Simpson
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this little book. It’s about a woman from the Dominican Republic, recently widowed, and retired from teaching literature. Her method of grieving is to pull back from other people. She has 3 sisters and lives in rural Vermont, where there is a significant migrant population because the farmers need cheap labor. One of her sisters goes missing, then a migrant worker living at a farm next door needs help, and she finds herself pulled back into the world. Memories of her very kind and ...more
Alisha
The tragic beginning of the story immediately caught my attention and caused me to wonder how the main character Antonia would be able to adapt with the significant changes in her life. Loss of husband and a sibling, and trying to take care of a young undocumented pregnant teenager.
It just seemed like her life was nothing but challenges, with her trying to figure it out.
I appreciated the literary quotes she’d use to help provide clarity and help her get through her circumstances. The facetious
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Missy
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won an advanced copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The style of the story is almost hypnotic and very tranquil. It reads very poetic which I suppose makes sense given the author is a poet. That being said, I had a hard time getting into the story because I felt it was bogged down with pages of over-the-top descriptions and emotions. I put this book down for about a week and had to work up the patience to pick it up again and finish it. I wanted to DNF it but decided to give it a fair ...more
Paul
Jan 21, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This OK, not great. Interesting writing style that worked much, but not all of the time. The characters aren't likeable much of the time, and this may be more a female read (which I often like), which may be why I didn't click with this. The author has obvious talent so I may have to circle back to some of her other work.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
Kelly
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
A meditative, almost stream-of-consciousness unreeling of one woman’s thoughts as she moves through the world after losing her beloved husband. She faces moral decisions regarding family and neighbors, and continually asks herself “What is the right thing to do?” Sometimes the book drags, but in many passages it shines and provides meaningful food for thought.
Megan Peet
Jan 03, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So excited for this.
Elle Rudy
Dec 18, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, netgalley
*Thanks to Algonquin Books & Netgalley for an advance copy!
Samantha
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book only Julia Alvarez could have written. Beautiful and bittersweet, with language, and characters, that soar.
Izabela
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Jan 21, 2020
Samantha
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Kristy  Hurst
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Jan 25, 2020
Nedra Bennett
rated it it was ok
Dec 16, 2019
Em
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Subhajit Das
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Julie
rated it it was ok
Dec 30, 2019
Megan Dormoy
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Jan 25, 2020
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Julia Álvarez was born in New York City. Her parents moved back to the Dominican Republic when Álvarez was 3 months old and she was raised there until she was 10, when the family moved back to NYC.

She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach
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