Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance's Reviews > After the End

After the End by Clare Mackintosh
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it was amazing

Tragic. I am mush. My heart is aching 💔. This book is gut-wrenching and incredibly compelling. Experience all the feels stretched beyond the limits you ever thought possible....it will bring you to your knees just reading the story.
Mackintosh wrote this novel undoubtedly insightful with uttermost care yet as real as it ever could be.
THIS will go on my 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ book list of 2019.

My time of reading any kind of self-help books has gained interest and flourished in my twenties, peaked for a few years then diluted with life and by now has long gone. If to gain information about a subject matter, feel better equipped to deal with challenges, gain perspective, reflect and meditate positively over life's big questions they have been a great source of encouragement and support.

Swimming through the pond called life, finding purpose and settling down hopefully goes smooth sailing if you have conquered some of the usual highs and lows of growing up....until you come upon a cross-road, AKA a punch in the gut, a life-altering occurrence, a devastating threat, loss or change. Until this happens, you just never know how much and in what way such a blow can impact your life and entire being. There isn't a way to ever be fully prepared no matter how many books you have read to do so.

In the case of this novel, it is about a happy young family life broken by a cancerous tumor, a brain tumor in Pip and Max's almost three-year-old son Dylan. As if the disbelief, long months at the ICU and surgeries weren't enough, given the circumstances, Dylan's prognosis isn't well.

Pip and Max are an amazing couple. He is from the US, she from England. They met on a plane, settled in England, are best friends, deeply in love, worked out their work schedules and happily created their little home and family.

Working through their son's illness and processing the situation differently, they are confronted to make a decision about Dillan's life at a crossroad, they end up disagreeing about the future care of their son.

After The End reads in alternating views of Pip, Max and the treating doctors. Nothing short of devastating, the journey of Dillan's life and or care is told in each of their perspectives from beginning to end. The joys, struggles, hopes, their memories of happy times and sad moments are captivatingly told. At times too much to take.

Dylan's life is in the hands of his parents. Either he is to be left in peace in palliative care until the end as the doctors suggest or undergo a private, very expensive treatment in a special facility in the US.

Both parents want the best for their child, but that may mean something different to each of them. Both of them are torn, hurt, worried, sleep-deprived, edgy and their different opinions put a big wedge into their relationship. They can't find peace in the other's proposed decision. A judge is to declare the fate of their son after hearing the brief presentations of different treatment options by specialists.

Cleverly, the novel continues here in alternate outcomes. After The End is an amazing way to demonstrate the situation from all different angles in different scenarios. Sadly, the extremely strenuous situation is often too much for a couple's relationship. This would certainly parallel with other difficult circumstances and the novel shows the unravel of a relationship and life in such delicate and painful steps, it is simply heartbreaking.

After The End continues with a different tone at midway through. I agree with other readers that the first part was absolutely excellent of a novel, perhaps better than the rest, but I stand by my high rating as a whole because that second part of the book focuses on the actual unravel/undoing of the life of the parents. A closer look afforded into the shattered hearts and minds of Pip and Max as individuals.

A message to the reader is easily understood, a stance can be taken for either parent. Life isn't black or white, nothing is ever positively only one way solvable. The repercussions of the road not taken vs the one taken brings forth questions, regret...maybe understanding? Love and life endures and continues, perhaps in different ways. Maybe there's a breaking point of being: at the one before and the one after.

Either way, this novel reached me deeply and is hitting too close to home. Perhaps because I have been at difficult crossroads before, but certainly because I know I will be facing huge medical decisions of a loved one with a very rare genetic disease. This may have influenced my thinking, or perhaps I stumbled upon this novel at the right time and will draw from it when that time comes. There is always the knowledge and certainty, even if it seems unfair at that time, that life all around will continue and pass by while not a soul around you knows your pain and struggles. And individually we all grieve differently and at different rates of time. Mackintosh's story of Pip and Max was as real as it ever could be to me.

If you can handle such a stirring, emotional, raw novel, then please give it a try. It is nothing short of moving through and through.

More of my reviews here:
https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
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Reading Progress

July 2, 2019 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
July 2, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read (Hardcover Edition)
July 16, 2019 – Started Reading
July 16, 2019 – Shelved
July 16, 2019 –
16.0%
July 18, 2019 –
25.0%
July 19, 2019 –
58.0%
July 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Dash fan (new) - added it

Dash fan I have this on my list, looking forward to seeing what you think of it xx


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance It is tearing me up! My heart hurts... I'm only 25% into it.


JanB Scarlett, I'm at 25% too and it is compelling and so sad....😢


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance So sad, JanB! My heart aches...


message 5: by Angela M (new) - added it

Angela M Glad to see you loved this , Scarlett. Ill be reading this soon and am now a bit more prepared.


Debra Great review Scarlett!


message 7: by Felicia (new)

Felicia I need this book!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Angela M wrote: "Glad to see you loved this , Scarlett. Ill be reading this soon and am now a bit more prepared."

I hope you'll like it :)


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Debra wrote: "Great review Scarlett!"

Thanks, Debra. Letting it settle a bit, then I will write the review.


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Felicia wrote: "I need this book!"

YES YOU DO, Felicia! :)


JanB I just finished this and have mixed feelings.....glad you enjoyed. Excellent review!


Brenda -Traveling Sister Great review, Scarlett!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Thanks. My initial thoughts...writing up my review later today :)


Marialyce I read this with Jan and we were both in agreement that the first half of the book was outstanding. Glad you loved it, Scarlett!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Marialyce wrote: "I read this with Jan and we were both in agreement that the first half of the book was outstanding. Glad you loved it, Scarlett!"
Thank you Marialyce :)


message 16: by Fran (new)

Fran Scarlett...thank you for your heartfelt, excellent review!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Fran wrote: "Scarlett...thank you for your heartfelt, excellent review!"
Awe, thank you Fran. xoxo


DeAnn Great review, you described it perfectly! It definitely hit me too.


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Thank you, DeAnn Acosta 🌺


Susanne  Strong Wonderful review Scarlett! Your thoughts on this book are so lovely and beautiful! Thank you! :) I have this to read and need to move it up on my list!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Susanne wrote: "Wonderful review Scarlett! Your thoughts on this book are so lovely and beautiful! Thank you! :) I have this to read and need to move it up on my list!"
Thank you, friend :) You are the sweetest. Prepare for an emotionally charged novel. Happy Reading! xoxo


Deanna Fantastic review!!!!!!


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance I hope you'll love it, Susanne :)


Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance Thank you for checking it out, Deanna G. :)


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