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After the End Reader Reviews

After the End

helen appleby

I was privileged to be able to review this book prior to publication as Clare Mackintosh is one of my favourite authors. After the End is very different from her psychological thrillers and is written from the heart about a subject which is close to her and is emotionally heart-breaking from the very beginning.

I was privileged to be able to review this book as Clare Mackintosh is one of my favourite authors and I always look forward to reading when she has a new book out. I have read her other books and loved them. But this is different for her other books. This is not a psychological thriller although still very well written and engaging and read it in a couple of days. I would have read it quicker had being at work not got in the way as have been known to read her other books in one day.

After the End is very different from her psychological thrillers and is written from the heart about a subject which is close to her and is emotionally heart-breaking from the very beginning. It was Clares own loss that has inspired her to write After the End. I didn't know until I reached the end of the book that Clare herself had had to face the same heart-breaking decision as Pip and Max as to whether it was time to terminate the life of their terminally ill son. Pip and Max have a 3 year old son called Dylan who falls ill with cancer that leaves him with brain damage and the doctors and medical professionals are unable to do anything more for him.

Max and Pip must make a decision that changes both their lives. But they both want different things for him. When a decision cannot be made or agreed upon by Dylans parents it is then put to the courts to decide what is best for him. The book then goes into alternate directions and takes on a sliding doors approach telling the end from what would happen if the court ruled to turn off all of the machines etc keeping Dylan alive and letting him die peacefully which is what his mum Pip would like to happen and what would have happened if he is taking to america for light beam therapy treatment to see if that can offer a cure or a few more years to live which is the option dad Max is wanting to happen.

After the end also explores the effect on a marriage of a couple going through such difficult times and how it takes it toll on them both

This is an emotional and heart-breaking story of What the parents go through and the sacrifices they make when they have a terminally ill child and the aftermath and how life goes on. I personally don't have children but cannot begin to imagine what a parent must go through in these circumstances.

It is really hard to review this book as it is written from the heart and also hard to comment on it without giving spoilers away.

Clare Reynolds

This novel will break your heart and put it back together piece by piece. You will never forget reading After The End and you never should.

After The End is the story of Pip and Max, parents to Dylan who is critically ill with a brain tumour. When they are asked to make a choice about what happens next, they both want what’s best for Dylan, but unfortunately they have completely opposing views as to what that should be.
This novel is not only about what happens next and why, it is a story about what it means to be a parent, and how the love we have for our children can make us realise that the most heartbreaking decision is the most selfless one we can make.
Pip and Max are bound together by their love for Dylan, but it is also the very thing that seeps into the cracks that are starting to form in their marriage, and takes them on a journey neither could have envisioned.
Clare Mackintosh has written an intensely personal and truly remarkable novel, which not only deals with the day to day realities of being parents to a very sick child, but also unflinchingly holds up a mirror to us and asks - when faced with an impossible decision, what would you do for your child?
After The End is a novel which I will never forget and will recommend endlessly. It is a devastating and yet life affirming story of the truly transformative power of love that a parent has for a child, and the lengths that they will go to for them.

www.yearsofreadingselfishly.blog/@yearsofreading

Hannah Fazakerley

When I began this book I knew nothing about it (except that I had enjoyed other books by the author) and I quickly realised that this book was going to be different. Max and Pip are happily married with a young son, Dylan aged nearly 3. Terrifyingly, Dylan is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and a heartbreaking decision has to be made by both parents.

When I began this book I knew nothing about it (except that I had enjoyed other books by the author) and I quickly realised that this book was going to be different. Max and Pip are happily married with a young son, Dylan aged nearly 3. Terrifyingly, Dylan is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and a heartbreaking decision has to be made by both parents.
Since reading, I know that the author is writing from the point of view of personal experience and the emotions and situations the characters are going through are well described and allow the reader to both sympathise and empathise. I found the book thought-provoking, especially in relation to the social media / media and TV coverage aspect. It really made me think about how and why people react to the themes in this book in real life situations and how this affects the parents portrayed in the book. I found I had an emotional reaction to the story and indeed I had to put the book down a few times to take a break from those feelings as a parent myself.
After the End is cleverly laid out and written. I am against spoilers so I will try not to say too much, but it is rare nowadays that I get to a point in a book when I have a lightbulb moment and think “Oh wow! I know what the author is about to do here!” and I found it very enjoyable that an author can do this to me!

My favourite quote from the book, p62
“I guess when you become a parent yourself you have to work harder at being a child to your own parents.”
This just really resonates with me at the present time.

@hfaz

Book Information

ISBN: 9780751564945
Publication date: 25th June 2019
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Literary Fiction, Star Books,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),