When I began this book I wasn’t sure it was for me. (In fairness, I had just finished reading The Dark Tower prior to this, and I absolutely adored that book, so whatever I chose next would have to be really good).
I continued reading because I was drawn in by the way the chapter headings counted down the time ‘before’. Before what? I wondered, and so I carried on, because I had to know.
And I’m really glad I stuck with it, because After, well…
If Alaska was something of a character Before, Afterwards she took on a whole new aspect for me. Her absence made her ever-more present, if that makes sense.
In the aftermath of the event (which I won’t spoil), Miles and the rest of their group are left to contemplate their role (if any) in helping it happen, and their responsibility/guilt as a result.
So many questions are raised from this one pivotal moment – Could they have stopped her? Was it an accident or deliberate? Why did she do it? What was going through that troubled girl’s mind in the moments Before, and what of the promises made which will forever remain unfulfilled.
There’s a lot for those who remain to contemplate, and reading their reactions, and the ways they ultimately find some resolution made this a more compelling read than I was initially expecting.
My Rating: 3/5