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Afterwards #2020

Afterwards Rachel Seiffert s first book The Dark Room shortlisted for the Booker Prize announced the arrival of a major writer Afterwards fulfills that promise with a stunning novel about war and its brutal a

  • Title: Afterwards
  • Author: Rachel Seiffert
  • ISBN: 9780676979091
  • Page: 100
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Afterwards By Rachel Seiffert, Rachel Seiffert s first book, The Dark Room, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, announced the arrival of a major writer Afterwards fulfills that promise with a stunning novel about war and its brutal after effect.Alice is the protagonist of Afterwards, but this book is about the guilt harboured by people around her There are two men in her life her maternal grandfather,Rachel Seiffert s first book, The Dark Room, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, announced the arrival of a major writer Afterwards fulfills that promise with a stunning novel about war and its brutal after effect.Alice is the protagonist of Afterwards, but this book is about the guilt harboured by people around her There are two men in her life her maternal grandfather, David, recently widowed, and her boyfriend, Joseph, each of whom keeps his past from his loved ones David served in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion Joseph, during a stint in the British army, served in Northern Ireland Both, we learn, live with the memory of having killed in the line of duty As Alice s relationship with Joseph develops, she senses there is something about his past that he keeps hidden This is particularly galling given the personal and emotional details she has revealed to him namely, that Alice has never met her father, and her attempts to establish an epistolary relationship with him in adulthood foundered After her grandmother s death, Alice finds the time spent with her grandfather awkward She doesn t know him the way she did her grandmother, but feels obliged to visit and offer support Gradually, it emerges that David s cold manner is traceable to events in Kenya, where he and his wife met And as Alice tries to get to the bottom of Joseph s reticence, a series of heated family discussions brushes ever closer to David s secrets.

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      Published :2020-05-20T08:31:52+00:00

    1 thought on “Afterwards

    1. The author chooses a note like style, and dialogue is signalled by dashes This has the effect of enfolding everything into a continuous whole of connected thought, word and deed as the characters seem to engage in a dance around each other It has an almost hypnotic effect and kept me reading, although having read other reviews, I can see it s not for everyone Occasionally the structure falters from lack of direction.In this pared down language Sieffert builds up the story of the relationship tha [...]

    2. It wasConfusingto read this story on my Kindle Where wherever I wanted to read It was on my Kindle.And I took it with me wherever I went until I was either done or didn t want to take it with me any Done with the story, that is.Huh Yes now let me change characters in the middle of whatever I was going to say so you really are not able to follow oh and by the way I forgot to mention I am also going to change timelines on you so you don t know until you are done reading this section if I meant it [...]

    3. This is a short, quiet novel about the reverberations of the past on relationships Specifically, two relationships in one family one old, married and established, and one youthful, fledgling Both relationships are shown trying to accommodate the effects of unspoken, briefly sketched military experiences The historic events are only lightly outlined, but loop inevitably around death, causing death, and how that stays with a man, after leaving the collective responsibility cloak of the army How yo [...]

    4. I didn t enjoy this book and only persevered to the end as I kept thinking that something was going to happen to engage me in the story and charactersbut it never did.It tells the story of a new relationship between Alice and Joseph Joseph had served with the Army in Northern Ireland and suffered with PTSD which still causes him problems years later Alice s grandfather was in Kenya with the RAF when the Mau Mau uprising was happening He had also seen some very traumatic things There is really no [...]

    5. Didn t really like the book Never got invested in the characters and felt that the ending really petered out Also, I had trouble with the non quotations There was no introductory remarks when the characters spoke and you just had to figure out who was say what A real non starter for me At least it was short D

    6. Copying the Book Blurb to remember When Alice and Joseph meet, they fall quickly into a tentative but serious relationship both are still young and hopeful of each other, but each brings with them an emotional burden Alice s family is full of absences and Joseph harbors an unspeakable secret from his time in the army in Northern Ireland.When Alice s widowed grandfather begins to tell Joseph about his RAF experiences in 1950s Kenya, something still raw is tapped in Joseph, his reaction to the old [...]

    7. Just a quick review for this one having recently read Seiffert s new novel A Boy in Winter, see my review I decided to hunt out a copy of her 2007 novel, Afterwards Like A Boy in Winter and The Dark Room, Afterwards explores guilt and moral responsibility, but the context is different to Seiffert s WW2 novels Former soldier Joseph is struggling with the aftermath of events in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and David, the grandfather of his girlfriend Alice, is haunted by what happened in [...]

    8. I enjoyed it I thought it gave a good insight into the Northern Ireland troubles and the British perspective of it especially the soldiers views I found the ending a bit disappointing but it was probably realistic all the same

    9. Three and a half stars I can see how this wouldn t be everyone s cup of tea but I found it quite moving and am still thinking about it several days later Damn politicians who send other people to war

    10. Dreadful This is without a doubt the most boring, self regarding, exploitative, pretentious novel I ve ever started and never finished, unable to stomach the portentous chasms between paragraphs, twee faux realism, trips to the offie, pee in the toilet bowl, blah, complete with class war, humble teachers, posh grandad officer types talking in clipped accents, the plasterer, ex Northern Ireland havoc, painter and decorator, even the Yorkshire Dales, in which I happen to live This creative writer [...]

    11. view spoiler This is what a book is like when nothing happens although the beginning shows that a LOT will happen What happened It is well written and marginally interesting, but I just kept reading I wasn t compelled to read, wanting to find out What next What next This is life happening when you make other plans Nothing big, but could have been This book reminds me that something has to happen and it needs to mean something, and if not, the ending needs to be great So, again it s about CONFLIC [...]

    12. I loved the way this was written, in starts and stops that perfectly evoked the characters various failed attempts to communicate At the heart of the story is Alice, who brings together two army vets her grandfather, who fought in the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the fifties, and her boyfriend, Joseph, who was stationed in Northern Ireland during the Troubles These two conflicts might sound very different, but both involve widely acknowledged oppression and atrocities perpetrated by the British [...]

    13. I liked this book the quirky way the story unfolds, the suspense from bottled up secrets, the surprising relationships and antipathies and until the last part of the book it felt like it would deserve a higher rating It was nearly un put downable But the ending was disappointing the characters ceased to be credible Even giving the benefit of the doubt on the influence of post traumatic stress it almost became un pick upable.The story is complex it is told almost in soundbites, certainly in tight [...]

    14. Afterwards is a seemingly quiet, uncluttered novel However, some serious themes are being tackled within it s plainly written pages Themes such as memory, the emotional aftermath of war, broken families, and the complexity of relationships I liked Seifert s portrait of Alice and Joseph, a couple falling in love As they guardedly reveal themselves to each other, we also meet their families and learn their histories This is not a plot driven novel, but a window into a new relationship that is lea [...]

    15. Both Afterwards and Seiffert s Booker Prize listed series of novellas in The Dark Room, focus on the powerful and often crippling effects of war on the psyche Most particularly she seems interested in that which goes unstated yet lives like a roiling abscess waiting shower its poison every which way The female protagonist, Alice, in Aftermath is very much like Micha in the The Dark Room both insist on prodding the abscess until it bursts For me, The Dark Room is the powerful work of fiction Her [...]

    16. This book had a certain gravity about it, but part of that gravity was borrowed from its subject matter the Troubles in Northern Ireland Written with some impressive language, deceptively simple, it had plenty of interesting characters and I would probably have enjoyed it a lot, if it hadn t been for the bizarre treatment of dialogue throughout Instead of incorporating speech within the narrative, the author has marooned all her dialogue in little island paragraphs, surrounded by oceans of empty [...]

    17. I liked this book The author is Britsh Most generally the language is the same as I m used to, but there are some words or phrases the author uses which are different than I would use The main character falls in love with a man who doesn t open up about his experience serving in the military The man and the authors grandfather have serving in the military and experiences they couldn t share with those close to them in common.I sometmes like to read books other than the top sellers Maybe that ste [...]

    18. Never a good sign I remembered that I had to return this book before getting through it because there were other holds on it at the library but what I didn t remember was how much I had gotten through before returning it When I checked it out again months later, I found when I started it that I had actually read most of the book already I completely failed to emotionally engage with this book I did admire the writing style, that wasn t the problem I don t know that I can put my finger on the rea [...]

    19. I did not enjoy this book I read to the end to see if poor Joseph and Alice could work something out like her grandparents had But I can t say here if they did I enjoyed one reader s rather sarcastic review it made me smile because she captured my own thoughts so well about the writing style, which made it hard to follow, to know who was talking and when it was happening On the positive side, it was raw and very real, but I found it depressing It literally changed my mood I guess that made it re [...]

    20. I clicked on the its amazing button because it is an unusual book in that what is not said is important It is surprisingly gentle for the topic Not gentle in a soft sense but in a subtle sense In music the rests are important and in painting the empty spaces and edges are important In a similar way what has been left out of this prose is engaging This book asks many questions that are realistic to love relationships and does not withdraw from the truth of the mystery of each individual life.

    21. I saw this book in the library and the blurb on the back interested me enough to take it out It took me a while to get past the annoying way the speech is written and the use of incomplete sentences, I did then get into the story and was expecting something to happen Basically nothing did, the blurb seemed to imply something dramatic but it was very anti climatic and left me feeling rather cheated None of the characters are written about in enough depth to make me care about them and by the end [...]

    22. More a 3.5 than a 4, this novel weaves together seemingly disparate histories of British militarism in Kenya 1950s and Ireland 1990s What I most loved about this book is its approach to memory, gender, and trauma Questions, it suggests, can be posed, but truth, especially personal truth, is elusive I also appreciated how the author explored the human costs of militarism through the prism of romance In this novel, stilted relationships between women and their warrior partners convey the banality [...]

    23. This book was one that I simply could not put down and read in one day, even getting up after I had gone to bed to finish it It is one of those books that one keeps thinking about after the last page has been read and the book put awayIt shows the effects of war violence on soldiers in different conflicts at different times and places and how it impacts on the relationships these men make, even many years later.

    24. Like Sarah I was really disappointed with this book, in fact I m not even sure where it came from I frequently thought about abandoning the book and once I got to the end which was a very abrupt ending I wished I had earlier I also thought something would happen but it never did and in that regard was very frustrating The structure and form of the writing was also disappointing somehow and I m stunned it was shortlisted for the Booker.

    25. This book is quite charming in some ways and certainly very engaging, but tinged with sadness I think it could be read with either a sense a positivity or with a feeling of futility, which I would guess is partly deliberate it depends on your faith in humanity in the end A decent read and a carefully considered and constructed insight into an area of mental health rather controversial to explore.

    26. I enjoyed reading this bit, just a little bit disappointed with the end Both lead characters, Alice and Joseph are portrayed very stronly and you can t hep understanding both I did however want to learn about Alice s Grandad Perhaps the book should have been called In between as I think ther should have been .

    27. This was a well written book with real characters It was a bit frustrating though as although it deals with PTSD it skirts around it and all through the book I was waiting to get to the crux of things I found the ending to be anti climactic.I would like to read her Booker short listed book.

    28. Not a huge fan because I didn t really understand what the author was really implying It was all implicit Maybe I need writing that is outwardly and direct I don t get it, haha Everyone s like, wow, this young literary genius is awesome And while she does write with somewhat of a poetic prose, it was only an okay book overall.

    29. Amazing writing, and a very thought provoking portrait of two very different families, legacy, and the impact of past on present Unfortunately there is no resolution to the story, so the characters are left in a kind of restless limbo with many questions still unanswered, which is exactly how I felt when I finished the book.

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