Friday 18 March 2011

After Life, After You by S. K. Reid

Published by Jane Curry Publishing

What if something were to happen to your partner? Each day there are lives lost and whether it is due to long-term illness such as Cancer, or a sudden tragedy (accident, heart-attack, or suicide) it devastates those left behind. Those partners who must wake each day with an empty space beside them where a loved one ought to be. Those same partners who usually go through life as a team and are now finding themselves with the lone responsibility for everything. How would it affect you?

Many of us are blessed to not know the answer to that question and would rather not consider it, if we are honest. In After Life, After You, the author, along with a few contributors, have taken the time to share their experiences with the death of a spouse. They share various moments in their lives as they struggle with the loss and the unavoidable change that comes with it.

When I first picked up this book to read it, I had the gut instinct that we all get when faced with the subject of death and loss. I wanted to put the book down, get the subject as far from me as I could. Still, I picked it up and started to turn the pages and couldn't help but be drawn in. How can a reader not become invested in a book where the writers open up their very hearts and souls, sharing their personal tales of love, grief and hope.

When a person is a public figure, we learn how a spouse can be affected by those who claim a personal relationship where none existed, simply for the sake of fame and fortune and without thought for the impact on the deceased's family. When a person takes their own life, whatever the method, we learn how the spouse must face so many questions they will never find answers for. So much blame is abundantly cast about and the surviving spouse must live with the stigma that accompanies suicide. We learn that sometimes, friends and family can be such a pillar of strength for those left behind but more often than not, their 'help' can cause further pain and resentment.

Each person has such a different response to the death of their loved one, as we would expect. Each of these three men and seven women discuss candidly how they felt for their partners, how they came to terms with the loss, and the struggle to rebuild their fractured lives in the hope that they can once more feel whole and find happiness in life once again.

I'd encourage everyone to read this book if I could. I haven't often read books on this subject (the last one that comes to mind was The Farewell Chronicles by Anneli Rufus) but this is one of those books that approaches the subject openly, honestly, and with a brilliant message. I wish I could hug each of these people and offer them my thanks for having the courage to share their personal tragedies.

Extremely moving and definitely a keeper!


Crazy Life of a Writing Mom said...

It sounds so impacting.
Great review :)

I'm following.

Charlene Martel said...

It was indeed Elisabeth. It was refreshing to see the subject of death handled so candidly. It definitely gave me much to think about.
Thank you :)

I love your blog and have followed you too. Your writing style is great and wickedly funny! Thank you for sharing!

Stacey Donaldson said...

So inspiring, great review! Death is certainly a subject that people like to avoid, but it one of the few things that we all have in common.

Following you from Book Blogs. Love your blog...sooo cute!

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Hi! I just found you on BookBlogs and I am now following you!
Will you follow me at


kathy said...

Hi, I'm following from book blogs. That sounds like an interesting book but I don't think I could handle it! One of my neighbors just lost her husband to cancer and my husband and I have talked about what it would be like. I think it's a subject no one really likes to think about.
But great review.

Evie said...

Wow the book seems to be very deep and moving! I will check it out for sure.

I'm your new follower, found you on Book Blogs! Let's connect :)

Charlene Martel said...

Thanks Stacey!

Charlene Martel said...

Hi Mindy! I am now following your blog too! Always great to meet other bookworms!

Charlene Martel said...

Hi Kathy,

It's definitely a touchy subject for sure and it gave me a great deal to think about. I was hesitant about reading this one at first but I am glad I did. It definitely reaches the nerves a little bit but it's also very reassuring in a way. I'm glad you liked the review! I'll be following you too!

Charlene Martel said...

Hey Evie! I've just checked out your blog and adore it. It's so playful and cute! I have followed you and I also added you as a friend on goodreads if that's okay!! :)

Jayne Fordham said...

Hi Mindy,

I am following from book blogs.
Stop by my blog at

Sounds like a really interesting read...grief is a delicate topic and it is very brave when people share their experiences of loss.


Charlene Martel said...

Thanks for the comment Jayne! I checked out your blog. Interesting content! I know I am going to be reading it often.. Thanks for the follow

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Great review. I am a new follower.

Charlene Martel said...

Thanks Alexis
I am following yours too. Adore your smiley rating system. Great reads that you are reviewing too. Looking forward to seeing what you read next!

Gabby Nesiba said...

Hi there! I'm a follower from BookBlogs. I like the simplicity of your blog. Very easy to navigate. Also, your reading taste is very diverse. That should make for some interesting reviews! Can't wait.

If you get a spare moment, feel free to stop by my blog too.

Thanks and happy reading!