Afterwards

Afterwards

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
Rachel Seiffert’s first book, The Dark Room, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, announced the arrival of a major writer; Afterwards fulfills that promise with a stunning novel about war and its brutal after-effect.

Alice is the protagonist of Afterwards, but this book is about the guilt harboured by people around her. There are two men in her life: her maternal grandfather, David, recently widowed, and her boyfriend, Joseph, each of whom keeps his past from his loved ones. David served in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion; Joseph, during a stint in the British army, served in Northern Ireland. Both, we learn, live with the memory of having killed in the line of duty.

As Alice’s relationship with Joseph develops, she senses there is something about his past that he keeps hidden. This is particularly galling given the personal and emotional details she has revealed to him (namely, that Alice has never met her father, and her attempts to establish an epistolary relationship with him in adulthood foundered). After her grandmother’s death, Alice finds the time spent with her grandfather awkward. She doesn’t know him the way she did her grandmother, but feels obliged to visit and offer support. Gradually, it emerges that David’s cold manner is traceable to events in Kenya, where he and his wife met. And as Alice tries to get to the bottom of Joseph’s reticence, a series of heated family discussions brushes ever closer to David’s secrets.

Baker & Taylor
When Alice and Joseph meet, they fall quickly into a tentative but serious relationship, but each brings with them an emotional burden which may spell disaster for them as a couple and as individuals.

Blackwell North Amer
When Alice and Joseph meet, they fall quickly into a tentative but sincere relationship. She is a nurse, he a house painter and a decorator, and while both are still young and hopeful about this new love, each of them carries an emotional burden. Alice's father has been a yawning absence all her life, and just recently her beloved grandmother - who helped to raise her - passed away.
For his part, Joseph refuses to speak about his experiences as a soldier in Northern Ireland, and Alice suspects that his general reticence hides an even more deeply troubled past, When her widowed grandfather begins to tell Joseph about his own military experiences in 1950s Kenya - stories he has until now shared only with his wife - something still raw is tapped in Joseph. His reaction to the older man's unburdening of guilt is both unexpected and devastating for them all.

Baker
& Taylor

When Alice, a young nurse, and Joseph, a plasterer, meet, they fall quickly into a tentative but serious relationship, but each brings with them an emotional burden--Alice, who has an absent father and who is dealing with the recent death of her beloved grandmother, and Joseph, deeply troubled by his experiences as a soldier in Northern Ireland. 15,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780375422607
0375422609
Branch Call Number: FICTION SEIFFERT
Characteristics: 327 p. ; 23 cm

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