Clare Mackintosh’s beautiful, page-turner tackles one of the hardest decisions parent ever have to make. I fell in love with Pip, Max, and Leila as they worked together, cried together and struggled together with the question of: What if. After the End possibly the most heart-wrenching book I’ve ever read. So much so, I had to call a friend and talk it through with hankies at the ready. I don’t always recommend books in Facebook’s The Book Club, but this one is a must read! Definitely one of my top ten this year!
From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh, a deeply moving and page-turning novel about an impossible choice—and the two paths fate could take.
“A beautifully written novel, compelling and clever, tender and true. I can’t stop thinking about it.” —Liane Moriarty
“Tailor-made for book clubs and for fans of Jodi Picoult.”—Publishers Weekly
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.
What if they could have both?
A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 25, 2019)
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
I don’t have words to describe what I think about this book, other than WOW, bloody, WOW! This is not only a book about a very sick little boy, but also about the unbelievable strains a marriage must endure, especially in the case of Pip and Max. There is no relief, not even after the end, but as the author says, there is hope.
Clare Mackintosh has based this story on her own painful experiences, so be prepared for a tough and emotional ride. As painful as it is, this book is one to be savored. Every single chapter brings a new awareness of how parents feel when faced with an impossible decision to keep their children alive or to remove all life support and let them die. After having read this book, I can say I’m a little better acquainted with the courts and legal decisions in such a tragedy, and the courageous path both doctors and parents must sometimes take.
I loved the characters, especially Leila. Her acute senses, her experience, her observation of the relationship between Max and Pip is beautifully drawn. When research is of such a high standard, it makes a difference to the reader. You learn something and that’s time well spent on a book.
It took me a lot longer to read this book and to comment than I have with any other. It is with some reservation that I say I ‘enjoyed it.’ It was harrowing and draining, but I couldn’t put it down. A departure from this author’s usual thrillers, it initially threw me for a loop. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. A book like this is definitely going to be a women’s fiction classic. I had read her book, I Let You Go, so I knew I was in for a very intricate, powerful read.
The only thing I didn’t like was the timeline, but in hindsight, how else could the author have done it? There were places where I had to go back and read sections over again as I did get lost along the way.
I can’t thank the author enough for writing it, and special thanks to Netgalley and to Penguin Group Putnam for an advance copy of this deep and and moving book.
Other books by Clare Mackintosh: