After This by Alice McDermott

5 11 2007

I finished reading After This by Alice McDermott today.
Alice McDermott is a fairly well-known author. This is my first experience reading her work.

Reading this book seemed more like a chore than pleasure. Usually reading takes me away from my reality into the reality of the book, but with this book I had to go back and reread things because my mind kept wandering.

Although this is a novel, it really seems like a series of interrelated short stories. I have never really enjoyed reading short stories, for some reason.

The characters didn’t seem very believable and the author had an off putting method of revealing the death that the individual characters would face far in the future in the middle of the story. It was quite strange. Imagine you are reading along about Madeline baking a cake and you find that thirty years from now she will succumb to breast cancer.

Perhaps the title After This refers to the next life. This book centered around a church. Perhaps I didn’t get it because I am not at all religious (see blog title). I don’t mind reading things that are related to religion and church. I am not against religion and church as settings and themes in novels or for other people. It just does not happen to be a part of my path in life.

I would not recommend reading this book. Perhaps McDermott’s previous works are much better than this one.
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