Family doesn’t always have to be blood, and sometimes that’s the best kind of family you can have by your side. In After the Fall by Julie Cohen, we meet three generations women (these are some of my favorite kinds of stories). Honor, who is in her 80’s. Jo, the mother of three children, and Lydia a high schooler who is just trying to find her way in life.
When Honor takes a nasty fall, Jo is contacted as her next of kin, even though Jo’s husband who was Honor’s son, died many years ago. That doesn’t stop Jo from taking Honor into her home, even at Honor’s reluctance. The older woman has always been very independent, so when she has to be looked after, it’s a shot to her ego. The saving grace is that she can spend more time with her granddaughter, Lydia. Although Lydia enjoys having her grandmother around, she has her own secrets that keep her distracted.
All of the women are on their own journey through life, discovering things about themselves that they might not have wanted to know, figuring out what’s holding them back, and coming to terms with the secrets that each of them are keeping. Each of them women are realizing how letting go of what you are afraid of can actually help you along the way.
Each voice was uniquely different in this book, yet all of the stories were incredible. I actually enjoyed Lydia’s point of view the most, as I feel her issue will be relevant with a lot of children today, and the feelings she had toward her secret (no I’m not going to tell you what it is, you just have to go read the book!) are pure and raw, making them so real it hurt me to watch her hurt.
Seeing Honor break her walls down to let Jo in, and the incredible heart wrenching ending, made this book a must read for me. I found myself laughing and crying at the same time while reading. Honor was cantankerous but she also had a heart of gold, Jo is a single mom who wants her own life back, and Lydia is the voice of many teens today.
I can’t wait for you to read this book, I devoured it, and I give this one 5 out of 5 stars. So good, you won’t be able to put it down either. Thank you to the publisher for sending this one to me, I can’t wait to see what other Julie Cohen books I can get my hands on, her writing is one that I want to get wrapped up in again.