Friday, August 28, 2009

132 - After You; Julie Buxbaum

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


  1. This sounds like a touching but quick read. Good review!

  2. I want to read this - I love books that use other books inside them - but I get really anxious about violent crimey stories. Is it a big focus in the book?


  3. This does sound like an interesting and fascinating plot, but boy, does the book sound sad.

  4. I loved your thoughts on this one. And I'm so glad that you enjoyed it because I requested it at the library already!!!

  5. It does sound like a touching story about grief. Thanks for your review.

  6. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! I so appreciate it. For the reader worried about this being a violent crime story, I promise that the entire book takes place after the murder. (I actually did write that scene for my own benefit--I thought as the writer I should know exactly what happened--but ultimately decided it wasn't appropriate to include it in the book.) If the rest of you do pick up AFTER YOU, you'll have to drop me a line to let me know what you think. (

    Thanks again!

    Julie Buxbaum

  7. When I first heard about this book, it reminded me slightly of No Reservations (the cooking movie starting Catherine Zeta Jones), which I really enjoyed. However, I think I was wrong in my initial assumptions. This book seems to have more depth - and I think I'd like it. I'll have to add it to my list.

  8. I absolutely loved this novel -- it was tender, heart-breaking and definitely realistic! I felt like I'd been on an emotional journey by the end of it. I'm grabbing another of Buxbaum's books soon! :)

  9. Good review. I am anxiously waiting to read this book. I'm on the wait list at my library. Have you read The Opposite of Love? It's really good; one of my favorite reads in 2008.


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