Life After You
Title: Life After You
Author: Siân O'Gorman
Published: 15th September 2020
Start Date: 7th June 2022
Finish Date: 9th June 2022
What if the person you’ve lost, is the one you need to find? Milly Bryne’s world came crashing down when she lost her beloved dad and boyfriend in a matter of weeks. Losing her dad broke her family. Losing her soulmate made her give up on life and love. After swerving from stability to chaos, to despair, Milly finally believes she has her life back on track when the unexpected return of a familiar face to Dublin throws her life into spin. Milly is forced to decide if her new life is the one for her, or if there is another path that will bring greater riches of joy, excitement and fun. Life just isn’t worth living if your heart isn’t in it.
Such a sad story, by the time I finished reading it I needed a good long cuddle with my husband and kids. There is a lot of sadness within this story and despite the happy ending I still felt miserable and lost.
Milly, is miserable. She is unhappy with her current boyfriend Ryan, she has run into her ex boyfriend who abandoned her just after dad died. Milly continues to grieve for both her dad and her boyfriend; five years down the line and she suffers from excruciating anxiety and panic attacks. On the flipside she seeks escapism in her legal work and rushes around after her boss who, despite going into labour, returns to work the next day. I found Catriona‘s character an entertaining caricature that exaggerated the trials of motherhood whilst simultaneously breaking the sombre narrative. Her character was definitely needed in the story.
The characters are colourful in this book, and they are all very easy to like or despise. Milly’s legal case with Mary was endearing and helping Milly channel her grief. I enjoyed disliking Ryan and his horrid mother, I was rooting for Milly to find her voice and stand up to them.
When it came to the plot, at times I found it very predictable. I would have liked to see a different narrative perspective to break the depressing narrative that was created. It would have nice to seen the perspective from Milly’s ex boyfriend to see his side of the story. This would have added more depth to the story and helped with the understanding of both characters.
I found the way the way Siân explored grief was incredibly realistic. Milly’s family were all dealing with her dad’s death in different ways, but when they finally talk about it, there is healing for all of them.
This was an enjoyable read, despite its sad mood. I grew to love the characters and wanted to be in Milly’s close circle of friends. The writer explores the meaning of loss; not just in terms of death but also in relationships and identity; which makes this book a book that I believe many people could identify with.