From the author who brought you Dear Thing, Julie Cohen, comes After the Fall — a poignant, beautifully heartbreaking novel about what it means to be family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that threaten to tear us apart.
When an unfortunate accident forces Honor back into the lives of her widowed daughter-in-law, Jo, and her only granddaughter, Lydia, she cannot wait to be well enough to get back to her own home. However, the longer she stays with Jo and Lydia, the more they start to feel like a real family. But each of the three women is keeping secrets from the others that threaten to destroy the lives they’ve come to know.
Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.
Jo’s secret could destroy the “normal” family life she’s fought so hard to build and maintain.
Lydia’s secret could bring her love―or the loss of everything that matters most to her.
One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will be forced out in the open in a single dramatic moment that leaves them all asking: is there such a thing as second chances?
Back in March of 2015, I read and loved Dear Thing by Julie Cohen (see review HERE), so I was excited to get an electronic advanced reader copy of her newest book, After the Fall. Believe me when I tell you, I was not disappointed and it was just as great as Dear Thing.
After the Fall‘s story revolves around three women and their “falls” –
There’s Jo who is recently divorced but ever optimistic. She has doubts about how her life is going and if she’s taking care of her kids, Lydia, Oscar and Iris the right way. Her “fall” is that she may be falling for another man and has a secret affair with one of Lydia’s teachers, who is also their neighbor.
Next his Honor, whose “fall” is literal. She has taken a nasty fall and she can’t go back home so she has to go stay with her former daughter in law, Jo, in order to recuperate.
Then there’s Lydia, who is struggling with her realization that she is gay and has fallen in love with her best friend.
While they all have secrets, they begin to learn how to talk to each other and also learn that the family they have is more than enough. They are flawed and human and as a reader, I found myself caring about them and their problems.
The story alternates between the points of view of the three main women, and the story details how their life experiences have impacted each other. Even though these three women are connected, we learn how much they really on’t know about each other because of the secrets each of them keep from each other.
You will laugh and you will cry, because this story is both funny and touching. There are some really great moments within this story and the author has done a great job pulling readers into the story from cover to cover.
Biography: Julie Cohen grew up in Maine and studied English at Brown University and Cambridge University. She then moved to England permanently, where she taught before becoming a writer. Her books have won or been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the HOLT Medallion, and more. She now writes full time and teaches creative writing. She lives with her husband, son and dog in Berkshire, where she is teased daily about her American accent. When she’s not writing, she’s on Twitter as @julie_cohen (and sometimes when she’s meant to be writing, too).
Learn more about Julie and her books on http://www.julie-cohen.com.