After You (Random House Reader's Circle) by Julie Buxbaum

By Julie Buxbaum

Whilst tragedy moves around the ocean, Ellie Lerner drops everything—her marriage, her activity, her existence within the Boston suburbs—to go back and forth to London and decide up the items of her ally Lucy’s existence. whereas Lucy’s husband, Greg, retreats into himself, his and Lucy’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, has easily stopped conversing. desirous to support Sophie, Ellie turns to a booklet that gave her convenience as a toddler, The mystery Garden. As its tale of damage, magic, and therapeutic blooms round them, so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some huge, a few small. Peeling again the layers of her friend’s lifestyles, Ellie is pressured to confront her personal in addition: the wedding she left at the back of, the loss she’d was hoping to flee. And without notice Ellie’s conscientiously developed life is spinning uncontrolled in a sequence of occasions that may remodel her life—and the lives of these round her—forever.

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Sample text

After Oliver was born and lost, all at once, the two events one and the same, Lucy had said, “Don’t worry, you’ll have another,” which was the exact wrong thing to say. ” Even amid the overdose of grief and numbness, I remember thinking I hadn’t expected this from Lucy, for her to somehow utter the sentence I was least ready to hear. Not from Lucy, who had given birth to her perfect little Sophie, who even as an infant, fresh from Lucy’s body, looked exactly like her mother, beautiful and so alive.

The Fourth had almost already happened in my head, in the expectant part of my consciousness, where the script gets prewritten in anticipation: Lucy and I sitting on the back porch with a couple of glasses of wine, discussing how different adult life had turned out to be from how we had fantasized as kids, and watching Sophie and Phillip and maybe Greg, if he was able to get some time off from work, try to catch fireflies with tennis-ball cans on the lawn. We were supposed to laugh like we used to when we were in our twenties, free and loud and uninhibited.

A buried key. A hidden door. We keep reading, and we can almost forget everything that has been lost and taken. 7 I don’t think I’m coming home,” I say to Phillip over the telephone, and the six words hang there, across the Atlantic, suspended in the invisible line between us. Once I say them out loud, though, I feel something akin to déjà vu, finally hearing the sentence out loud that’s been playing on repeat in my head. “Come on, what are you talking about? ” Phillip doesn’t sound mad. He sounds like we are negotiating.

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