“After the End” was a novel Clare Mackintosh had been wanting to write for more than a decade. Twelve years ago, Clare and her husband had to make an extremely difficult decision. Ever since they have questioned whether or not they made the right choice.
I knew this was going to be quite different from the author’s previous novels, but I was excited to read it.
I thought this was an excellent read!
Parents often have to make tough decisions. Occasionally, they may have to make what seems like an impossible decision. “After the End” does an excellent job of showing what the outcome might be for both sides of an incredibly hard decision.
The book opens with everyone in a courtroom, waiting for a ruling that will change many lives.
For the last year, Max and Pip have been made many trips to the hospital with their two-year-old son, Dylan. After multiple treatments and surgery, Dylan should’ve been getting better. However, they had to return to the hospital and now Dylan has been in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for quite some time.
Pip and Max often torture themselves with “What ifs”. What if they’d noticed symptoms sooner? What if they had trusted their instincts? etc…
Dylan’s doctor tells Max and Pip that she needs to speak with them. The news she gives leaves them with an impossible decision to make.
It’s a decision they may not be able to agree on.
Wow. What an incredible read!
Most of the story is told from Pip and Max perspectives, but we also hear from Dylan’s doctor. Dr. Khalili works hard for the children she treats. We see how difficult it is being the person who often has to give bad news, and how hard it is to not get emotionally involved with patients and family members.
As I read I constantly wondered what I would do if I was in a similar situation. People cope in many different ways.
“After the End” was a uniquely written and thought-provoking novel. I was a little confused at first when reading the “After” chapters but once I caught on it all made sense. I was gripped by this heart-wrenching read.
I was prepared for an emotional read but this story hit me harder than I expected. This is not a novel I will soon forget.
I’d like to thank G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.