The Dial Press (August 25, 2009)
The complexities of a friendship. The unexplored doubts of a marriage. And the redemptive power of literature...Julie Buxbaum, the acclaimed author of The Opposite of Love, delivers a haunting, gloriously written novel about love, family, and the secrets we hide from each other—and ourselves.
It happened on a tree-lined street in Notting Hill to a woman who seemed to have the perfect life. Ellie Lerner’s best friend, Lucy, was murdered in front of her young daughter. And, as best friends do, Ellie dropped everything—her marriage, her job, her life in the Boston suburbs—to travel to London and pick up the pieces of Lucy’s life. While Lucy’s husband, Greg, copes with his grief by retreating into himself, eight-year-old Sophie has simply stopped speaking.
Desperate to help Sophie, Ellie turns to a book that gave her comfort as a child, The Secret Garden. As the two spend hours exploring the novel’s winding passageways, its story of hurt, magic, and healing blooms around them. But so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some big, some small—secrets Lucy kept hidden, even from her best friend. Over a summer in London, as Ellie peels back the layers of her friend’s life, she’s forced to confront her own as well: the marriage she left behind, the loss she’d hoped to escape. And suddenly Ellie’s carefully constructed existence is spinning out of control in a chain of events that will transform her life—and those around her— forever. A novel that will resonate in the heart of anyone who’s had a best friend, a love lost, or a past full of regrets, After You proves once again the unique and compelling talent of Julie Buxbaum.