Author: Rosamund Lupton
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: 2011
The school was on fire,
and Grace's last memory is of trying to reach her daughter, Jenny,
trapped inside the inferno. While their burned bodies are frantically
cared for by doctors, Grace and Jenny awaken in the hospital in a
strange in-between state. When they learn that someone purposefully set
the fire, and Jenny may still be in grave danger from someone who wants
her dead, Grace realizes she may be the only one who can discover who
might be responsible. The police are looking at Adam, Jenny's younger
brother, who is struck mute by the horror he witnessed and can't defend
himself when he is accused of the arson. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Afterwards is a book that goes all out for emotion and, sure, I did find myself tearing up a couple of times, but I sometimes felt it was a little too heavy-handed, pulling and pulling for a reader response.
This is essentially a literary fiction with some 'spiritual' or fantastical elements. The prose is easy reading and you can skim through this book at a steady pace. The characters are nicely drawn and realistic.
I certainly didn't regret reading this book, but it is not one that will ever make my reread pile.