Saturday 20 September 2014

Review ~ After I Left You by Alison Mercer

Random House UK Transword

A chance encounter with a friend from university causes Anna to reflect on the life she has been living in the intervening years. The past comes rolling back and Anna, plagued by memories, knows that the time has now come for her to face the truth of recollection and to grasp the chance to lay aside the ghosts of her past.

The story starts off reasonably well with some good psychological insights into what makes Anna tick. She’s an enigma, slightly offbeat, but with an incredibly damaged soul and it’s that which drives the novel forward. When the story goes back in time, as it inevitably must, I found that the main bulk of the story lacked appeal and became rather predictable and I have to admit that I had guessed Anna’s secret long before it was exposed. For me, the best part of the writing came in the descriptions of student life at the fictional St. Barts College, Oxford and it would appear that the author is putting her own personal knowledge of time spent at Oxford to good use.

Overall, it’s a book about friendship and of the choices we are forced to make, which for good or bad stay with us throughout the rest of our lives. If you like stories about old friends meeting up, all of whom have unfinished business, then this will interest you, but I'm afraid it left me feeling decidedly underwhelmed.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld for my ecopy of this book

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