The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett
|The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Beautiful story (and the last of three featuring a certain cat) about death and grief, beautifully written and illustrated and truly profound. I wept.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: November 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Tell them what The Afterwards is about, they said.
Hopefully you know this, but...
It's a book with friendship in it.
It's a book with death in it.
It's a book with betrayal in it.
It's a book with love in it.
It's a book with a cat in it.
That's what I know.
That's what I can tell you.
That'll do me.
To be honest, I'd be surprised if that wouldn't do you, too. These are the ingredients of The Afterwards provided by A F Harrold in his own inimitable way in the publicity material that came with my copy. It's so simple but I can't imagine a person reading it who doesn't know that they're going to find something magical and extraordinary. Le sigh. It's like the writer has reviewed his own book, with honesty, in a way that leaves me utterly unequal to the task. But I don't care about that as I have read The Afterwards and it is exactly as magical and extraordinary as I expected it to be.
Ember and Ness are the bestest of best friends. They like each other. They understand each other. Where you find Ember, you will find Ness. They fit together. But there's an accident. And Ness dies. How can Ember live in a world with no Ness? It's an impossible thought. So, when Ember arrives in the Afterworld, sent there by someone else going through overwhelming grief, she determines to find a way back and to bring Ness with her. What else would a real friend do?
Okay, that's all you're getting. There is a great deal more going on than this - Ness isn't the only person Ember has lost and Ember isn't the only person who has lost someone - but you should read The Afterwards and make your own voyage of discovery. I'll just say it is beautifully written by a wordsmith of great skill and that tenderness and compassion flows from every page even though this story is not afraid to be sad and scary or even, at times, darkly funny. It's a book about love and facing up to loss and it's profoundly moving.
Readers will be glad to see that the otherworldly cat links The Afterwards to The Imaginary and The Song from Somewhere Else and will revel in Emily Gravett's eerie, evocative illustrations.
I don't want to say any more. I'll probably spoil it. Just read.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett at Amazon.com.
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