After the End

By Clare Mackintosh

After the End by [Mackintosh, Clare]

5 out of 5 stars

I have enjoyed Clare Mackintosh’s first books immensely. They are thrillers you can’t put down. This is totally different but you won’t put it down until you wipe that last tear.

Max and Pip’s 3 year old son Dylan has been battling cancer. When he is taken off of a ventilator he has been on for a while, the doctor tells them the cancer has grown. They have the decision to try and continue treatment to maybe give him a little more time, or end it and let him die. Max wants to prolong it and Pip wants it all just to stop. It ends up in court and as we await the decision, we are taken along the two separate timelines, the whatifs.

I loved how we got to see it through the lens of both sides. You always wonder in a story what would happen if only it went the other way. Neither was perfect. Neither was wrong. You put yourself in their place. What would you do? I loved both characters very much. I wasn’t angry at either. I was sad an awful lot while reading. I think the book might be tear-stained now.

I also love how we got to look into the doctor’s point of view, as well. Leila was exactly what you would want in your doctor. She was straight and to the point, yet she cared so deeply about them, even as she dealt with her own life struggles. I loved how observant she was while watching Max and Pip. She picked up on the subtleties.

You will feel everything when you read this lovely book. You will feel it deep into your soul, especially if you are a parent. Even if you are not, we all have to make decisions that we wonder about. I know I did when I had to decide on what to do with my mom at the end of her life. When you reach the Afterword and find out that the author had to make this decision for her child, you will really understand the depths of what you just read. This is a lovely, sad, uplifting book. You need to read it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Putnam for an advance copy of this lovely book.

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