I select large print for the Library. Space is limited, so every purchase is carefully considered. When Rosamund Lupton‘s debut novel Sister was published in large print I wondered if I should buy it for SCPL’s collection. The reviews were glowing on both sides of the Atlantic, but what was most telling was the circulation statistics on our regular print copies of Sister. All of the copies were checked out and had circulated so well that I decided to buy Sister for the large print collection.
That was a year ago. Since then the Library has purchased Lupton’s Afterwards in regular and large print, again due to the positive reviews and strong circulation. A month ago I was browsing emediaLibrary for an available ebook and stumbled on Afterwards. I checked it out, happy I could read Lupton and decide for myself if her novels are as fabulous as the reviewers make them out to be.
“Wow” just does not begin to describe Afterwards. It’s part mystery, part police procedural, part domestic fiction–I loved this suspense-filled novel. For me, it delivered all the goods–character, plot, suspense, and a mystery with twists and turns. The protagonist and narrator is Grace. She is unconscious, as is her daughter, Jenny, both victims of arson at her son’s school. Grace and her daughter are visible, but only to each other. They can communicate with each other, but no one else. Grace relates what she observes of the investigation into the arson and along the way she learns about her husband, son, and daughter, and about herself. The mystery, of course, is solved after we happily chase some red herrings. Suspense is high as someone is still trying to take Jenny’s life.
I highly recommended Afterwards for its suspense, mystery, police procedural, character and plot development. Actually, I think it would be hard to find something not to like about it.
Right now I am listening to the audiobook edition of Sister, read by Juanita McMahon. This novel also straddles genres: murder mystery, psychological thriller, medical thriller, domestic fiction. Beatrice is our narrator, relating to the reader, as well as her younger sister Tess, the events surrounding Tess’ death and subsequent investigation. Bee, who had been living and working in New York, flew to London when her mother reported Tess missing. When the police find Tess dead and conclude it is by her hand, Bee refuses to believe it and investigates herself. The reader is drawn into the suspense from the very first page.
I can hardly wait for Lupton’s next novel. My excitement about her books reminds me of the way I felt about Jodi Picoult when I first discovered her. Part of me wonders if men would enjoy Lupton’s novels as much as women. I think so, or at least I hope men who enjoy suspense and mystery will give her books a try.