Marti's Reviews > Afterwards

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: mystery, paranormal

Grace was attending a field day at her son Adam's expensive London private day school when she noticed smoke coming from the building. Quickly, she realized that her daughter, Jenny, was likely inside the building way up on the third floor. Also, she wasn't sure where Adam was because he had gone with Rowena, a teacher's aide and daughter of Grace's good friend Maisie, to get his birthday cake. When Grace reaches the building, she sees Adam, apparently safe outside with Rowena but doesn't spot Jenny. There are cars blocking the school's entrance and even though firefighters are on the way, their progress is impeded. Grace runs into the building, determined to save Jenny. It's an old building that has quickly become engulfed in flames. Grace does reach Jenny but then passes out. The firefighters do rescue both Grace and Jenny but not until both of them have been very severely injured. As the book opens, Grace has the feeling of being in a shipwreck and manages to "escape" her badly injured body. Soon, Grace is able to locate Jenny who has also escaped her terribly injured body. Grace and Jenny discover that they can interact with each other but no one else can see or hear them. It is quickly learned that the fire was arson and before too long, little eight year old Adam is named as the arsonist. Fortunately, Sarah, Grace's police inspector sister-in-law, does not believe that Adam really did this and is determined to find the true arsonist. In the meantime, Jenny's life in is danger on two fronts. Her heart has been so badly damaged that she will not survive without a heart transplant and she is given only tree weeks to live without the new heart. Not only that, someone apparently is trying to kill Jenny within the hospital. Will Grace and Jenny, who can see and hear everything but not be seen nor heard, be able to do anything to affect the outcome? This was a book I quite literally could not put down. They mystery element was very well handled and the characters were expertly drawn. I found myself really caring about many of the characters, especially Grace, Jenny, and Sarah. I very highly recommend this wonderful novel.
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