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BOOK REVIEW: The After Wife by Cass Hunter

| 22 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The After Wife by Cass Hunter

Orion
March 2018
Paperback, $29.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Fiction / Contemporary

7/10

A surprising and emotional story starring an unforgettable heroine, for fans of TogetherThe Lovely Bones and The Time Traveller’s Wife

When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.

She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.

Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.

They sat side by side and watched hours of TV, barely speaking. They took turns to doze off on the sofa or sneak upstairs to curl up in their beds to nap. After a few days, they stopped getting dressed. Dishes piled up on every surface. Every now and then they would look at the bleak chaos around them, consider tidying and then slump back into the rumpled nests they had made in the living room.

But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.
A gift called iRachel.

So this is what it feels like to lose your mind, Aidan thought. Here was Rachel. Rachel, his beloved wife, had been waiting for him, sitting in a pitch-dark storage cupboard.Rachel, who he had last seen dead, broken and silent on a mortuary table. Whose coffin had slid behind the curtains in the crematorium.Whose ashes were in an urn, waiting for when he and Chloe felt brave enough to scatter them on the South Downs.

 

Lovers of books like Calling Major Tom, Lost & Found, Happiness for Humans, and Whispers Through a Megaphone, are bound to find something to enjoy in The After Wife. 

Like the aforementioned titles, The After Wife deals with various human issues in a quirky, funny, emotional and engaging read. This is a story about a family going through one emotional situation after another, with a quirky robot to assist. It deals with dementia, death, grief, friendship, and there’s even a message here about ableism – about letting a person decide to live a life they want to live, and to deal with their health issues in the way they choose.

A lot of the humour comes from the misunderstandings that arise between iRachel and Rachel’s family, but a lot of the more emotional moments also arise from the same dynamic, as the family go from seeing her as a machine, an experiment that is impeding on their grieving process, to a being in her own right who really does care for them.

In the end, this is cute, emotional, and is bound to have you rushing through the pages to see where it all ends up, and I will definitely be seeking more books from this author in the future.

Stephanie O’Connell

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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