Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication Date: September 2009
‘After You’ begins, essentially, after a young mother’s life is cut tragically short. Lucy Stafford is murdered by a meth-crazed mugger near her posh Notting Hill home as she is walking her young daughter to school. In the days following her shocking death, Lucy’s childhood best friend – Ellie Lerner – leaves her life in the Boston suburbs behind to help Lucy’s eight year old daughter Sophie and husband Greg deal with the loss.
While Ellie struggles to help Sophie cope with witnessing the murder of her mother, she discovers a shocking secret about Lucy that has her second-guessing the very foundations of their friendship. Still reeling from her discovery, Ellie is also dealing with a marriage that is falling apart, and only getting worse with distance. She finds comfort in taking care of young Sophie. Together, they work to rebuild their life after Lucy, and find solace in reading The Secret Garden together and getting lost in the warm comfort of a classic novel.
I’ve read many books that touch on the themes of death and loss, but Julie Buxbaum is the first author to literally take my breath away with her writing. Her ability to turn seemingly ordinary language into extraordinary and utterly compelling and touching prose is what makes ‘After You’ a book that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.
Thanks again to the lovely folks at Penguin Canada for sending this one over for us to review. Keep ‘em coming!!