After The End by Clare Mackintosh @PutnamBooks #bookreview #womensfiction

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!  

Book description:

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

After the End by [Mackintosh, Clare]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.

Book Links:  British flag UK here     US flag US here

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 25, 2019)

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

 

Review

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:

Clare Mackintosh books

 

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware @PutnamBooks @Penguin @simonschuster @RuthWareWriter

I’m always excited when a great author comes out with a new book. I’ve been a Ruth Ware fan for several years now and love the crisp, clean prose and unique plots. The tension and intrigue is unlike other books in this genre and a book that’s bound to keep you flipping the pages well past bedtime.

Book Description:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s fourth novel, “her best yet” (Library Journal, starred review).

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by [Ware, Ruth]On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

 

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (May 29, 2018)
  • Publication Date: May 29, 2018
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Book links:  US here    UK here

Review

I’ve enjoyed several of Ruth Ware’s books and decided to give this one a whirl. I liked Hal from the very beginning because she’s a realistic character trying to make ends meet. Living in the cold and damp with hardly a penny to rub together, you find yourself inside Hal’s world, running away from a crooked money lender. It’s hardly surprising then that when she receives a letter that may be the answer to prayer, she chooses the only way out. But there is a slight hitch and you’re never entirely sure whether she can pull it off. The funeral, the family and the old house are full of lies and secrets that are sure to turn her world upside down.

I agree Ware’s novels are somewhat Christie-esque. Everybody is a suspect and the books carry that British cozy mystery mood despite the modern setting. The prose is straightforward with a focus on plot and dialogue and where hints and suspicions are assembled from conversations and plot twists. Every character abounds with secrets and resentments so you’re never quite sure who’s done what. The protagonist, in this case Hal, stumbles into an adventure where she must solve a crime putting many of Ware’s books into the super sleuth category: One I absolutely love.

We see a large house, a little worse for wear, and a housekeeper and family reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. The pace, in parts, is wild and unwavering, and I couldn’t help feeling as if I was inside the brooding house—another character in the book with its stairs and attic room—but also inside Hal’s anxious and curious mind. Why is she given such a claustrophobic room? Why is it so cold and dark? The effect is almost palpable and I could feel goose bumps near the end when the snow is falling and there is no way out but back. But where Christie’s characters often get picked off one by one, in The Murder of Mrs. Westaway, Ware’s characters disperse and return to their normal lives, leaving Hal to the mercy of the lake and the boathouse where it all began.

If you haven’t sampled any Ruth Ware, I would start with Woman in Cabin 10 to get a ‘feel’ for fine writing and unique plots. All her books are strong and surefooted with tons of thrills along the way. Crime novel and psychological suspense fans will love this creepy puzzler of a mystery. Five fat stars for another marvellous read.

About the Author

Ruth WareRuth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family.

Visit http://www.ruthware.com to find out more, or find her on facebook or twitter as @RuthWareWriter

Other books by Ruth Ware: Order here

Ruth Ware books