Lucy, Ellie Lerner's best friend of 30 years, is stabbed to death while walking her eight year old daughter Sophie to school. Ellie is so devastated that she leaves her job and her husband in Boston, and travels to Notting Hill, England to help Sophie and her Greg through this difficult time.
Greg deals with his grief by escaping to local pubs, and little Sophie is so traumatized by witnessing her mother's stabbing, has stopped speaking. Ellie desperate to help Sophie, turns to the book, The Secret Garden, as a tool for helping Sophie through her grief. Night after night she reads the book to her, and gradually the healing begins.
Ellie, at first seemed self-centered to me. She left her job, and her husband Phillip to fly to England for an indefinite period of time. The truth is, Ellie too was grieving, not only for the loss of her friend Lucy, but she was also mourning the loss of her baby "Oliver", that she lost during her eighth month of pregnancy. In addition, her marriage now seems doomed, and she is not quite sure how to save it.
After You, is a believable story, and despite the ending being somewhat open-ended, it was a satisfying read. The author skillfully portrays a touching relationship between Ellie and Sophie, and shows the reader that although hearts can break, they can also heal given time.
RECOMMENDED - 4/5 stars; Review Copy; 8/27/09