Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.
What if they could have both?
A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.
Clare Mackintosh, popular for her outstanding and gripping YA thrillers, brings us a new release that has been inspired by events from her own life.
When a child is terminally ill, the lines between living and existing gets blurred. Dylan, a 3-year-old with a brain tumor is fighting a tough battle between life and death. But things start turning nasty when their parents- Pip and Max are left with choosing between palliative care or advanced therapies that may or may not make Dylan’s life better.
While the story makes us wonder what decisions we would have made if we were in such a situation, it also tells us that the concept of right and wrong is subjective and purely personal. A story of hope regrets and staying strong as a family, ‘After the End’ stirs our emotions vigourously.
There is a sense of dread throughout, interspersed with hope and simple moments of joy. Pip and Max’s story, from their own perspective, adds a different layer to the story and no matter how outraged I felt, I knew that all those decisions and actions were coming from a place of undying over for Dylan
The first half of the story titled ‘Before the End’ is about Dylan’s condition and how his parents are coping up with the harsh reality, while the second half titled ‘After the End’ gives us two different scenarios- one in which Dylan dies immediately following the trial, and another where Dylan lives a few more years, finally succumbing to his extensive health troubles.
This is a very open-ended story and somehow that works wonders for the plot. We get to see a marriage where people eventually drift apart, a mother’s intense need to save her child from pain and a father’s desire to give him more years of life. There’s a sense of comfort too at places, where the author guides us through moments of pain.
I am so sorry that the author had to go through something similar, to make these choices one should never have to make.
‘After the End’ is about loss, but its also about hope. Some choices leave consequences, they are hard but also important. This is one such story.
Purchase Links: |Amazon Kindle|
*Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Books for the copy. All opinions are my own*