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After You'd Gone

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After You'd Gone Cover

ISBN13: 9780142000328
ISBN10: 0142000329
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.

Review:

"It's the depiction of...deceptively small moments that is O'Farrell's winning gift....Her absorbing characters gracefully circle one another 'round the room like moths at the light bulb,' grazing their wings against life's raw heat instead of being consumed by it." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Its mixture of humor, romance, suspense and tragedy make for a hugely satisfying read." Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky and Summer at Gaglow

Review:

"It is hard to believe that such an assured work comes from a first novelist....With smooth prose, O'Farrell moves seamlessly among the victim's family and friends and back and forth in time in seemingly random fashion, slowly revealing her characters' pasts and stunningly bringing the story back to the present." Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal

Review:

"Like a pointillist painting, this fine debut is, from one perspective, formless--short vignettes, told from multiple points of view and in multiple voices, that are somewhat puzzling on their own and apparently have no connection to each other. Ultimately, however, these elements merge into a coherent and moving portrait of a young woman's journey toward a life-threatening crisis." Publishers Weekly

Review:

Maggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. She has worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and as Deputy Literary Editor for the Independent. She is now a freelance writer for a variety of British magazines and newspapers. She lives in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis:

Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.

Synopsis:

Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.

It's the depiction of . . . deceptively small moments that is O'Farrell's winning gift. . . . Her absorbing characters gracefully circle one another 'round the room like moths at the light bulb, ' grazing their wings against life's raw heat instead of being consumed by it. (The New York Times Book Review)

After You'd Gone is beautifully written contemporary fiction. (Edna O'Brien, The Sunday Times)

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. She has worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and as Deputy Literary Editor for the Independent. She is now a freelance writer for a variety of British magazines and newspapers. She lives in the United Kingdom.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

megan s, January 8, 2010 (view all comments by megan s)
The novel proceeds in various tenses, voices, and points of view, peeling off layer after layer of Alice's story, showing us that things are never quite as simple as they seem. After You'd Gone is many things: a story about true love, about family, about loss, about grief, and about healing. All of these things are beautifully rendered in a style that deceives readers into thinking that maybe they aren't all that involved in the story only to find that they've been so wrapped up in the web of Alice's life, that the core of the story is all the more gripping and heart-wrenching.

It's hard to make me cry, especially for a book. This one did make me cry - not once but twice - despite my best efforts not to. Maggie O'Farrell has an astonishing grasp of emotions and the human condition. This novel is beautiful, heart-breaking, and not to be missed.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
cariola119, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by cariola119)
Beautifully written heartbreaker of a story. At the beginning of the novel, Alice Raikes gets off a train in Edinburgh to visit her sisters. She makes a stop in the loo, sees something that disturbs her, and hops the next train back to London with no explanation. When she arrives, she steps off the curb into the path of an approaching vehicle.

From this moment, the novel meanders through time, from Alice's parents' engagment to the near present, and the focal point continually shifts--sometimes it's Alice, sometimes her mother Ann or her grandmother Elspeth, sometimes one of her sisters, Kirsty or Beth. As the family keeps a vigil by Alice's bedside, secrets, regrets, and lost opportunities are slowly revealed, and we come to understand just what brought Alice to this point.

I enjoyed O'Farrell's The Vanishing of Esme Lennox, but this one tops it by far.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
cindystern10, June 14, 2008 (view all comments by cindystern10)
This book will hold your interest to the end, although most readers will figure out "what she saw" well before the end of the book. I could not put the book down, but I still am a little unclear as to why she was so upset by her bathroom discovery. Also the ending leaves you wondering...
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780142000328
Author:
O'Farrell, Maggie
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
O'Farrell, Maggie
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Scotland
Subject:
London
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Coma
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Suicidal behavior
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
107-8
Publication Date:
20020231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7.86x5.06x.84 in. .68 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Contemporary
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General

After You'd Gone New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142000328 Reviews:
"Review" by , "It's the depiction of...deceptively small moments that is O'Farrell's winning gift....Her absorbing characters gracefully circle one another 'round the room like moths at the light bulb,' grazing their wings against life's raw heat instead of being consumed by it."
"Review" by , "Its mixture of humor, romance, suspense and tragedy make for a hugely satisfying read."
"Review" by , "It is hard to believe that such an assured work comes from a first novelist....With smooth prose, O'Farrell moves seamlessly among the victim's family and friends and back and forth in time in seemingly random fashion, slowly revealing her characters' pasts and stunningly bringing the story back to the present."
"Review" by , "Like a pointillist painting, this fine debut is, from one perspective, formless--short vignettes, told from multiple points of view and in multiple voices, that are somewhat puzzling on their own and apparently have no connection to each other. Ultimately, however, these elements merge into a coherent and moving portrait of a young woman's journey toward a life-threatening crisis."
"Review" by , Maggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. She has worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and as Deputy Literary Editor for the Independent. She is now a freelance writer for a variety of British magazines and newspapers. She lives in the United Kingdom.
"Synopsis" by ,
Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.
"Synopsis" by , Alice Raikes takes a train from London to Scotland to visit her family, but when she gets there she witnesses something so shocking that she insists on returning to London immediately. A few hours later, Alice is lying in a coma after an accident that may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Alice's family gathers at her bedside and as they wait, argue, and remember, long-buried tensions emerge. The more they talk, the more they seem to conceal. Alice, meanwhile, slides between varying levels of consciousness, recalling her past and a love affair that recently ended. A riveting story that skips through time and interweaves multiple points of view, After You'd Gone is a novel of stunning psychological depth and marks the debut of a major literary talent.

It's the depiction of . . . deceptively small moments that is O'Farrell's winning gift. . . . Her absorbing characters gracefully circle one another 'round the room like moths at the light bulb, ' grazing their wings against life's raw heat instead of being consumed by it. (The New York Times Book Review)

After You'd Gone is beautifully written contemporary fiction. (Edna O'Brien, The Sunday Times)

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