After The End is an intriguing and upsetting discussion about what makes life worth living.
Clare Mackintosh tells the story of Max and Pip. They are husband and wife, whose lives are forever changed with their son’s birth and his serious medical battle that quickly follows. When doctors force Max and Pip to make an impossible choice, a choice that will determine how much longer their son will be alive, they both cannot agree, and the decision becomes central to the story. Each parent feels that they are making the right choice for their son, and soon they are forced into a legal battle that will determine their son’s fate.
The first part of After the End was a sad but very enjoyable read. Max and Pip were evenly strong characters, and we both thought that the author carefully crafted them so that they were genuine and honest. As the story switched between Max and Pip, we could easily get their decision-making regarding what choice to make for their son’s life. We empathized with both of them and found us wondering what we would do in their positions.
However, the second part fell a little flat for us. The author presents two different versions of the story following the court’s decision. While we think it was an interesting choice, it became complicated to follow the two separate storylines.
This was a tragic book, but we both are happy to have read it. We both pondered what we would do in this situation, and both felt utterly baffled. We believe it is normal to doubt our significant judgments, and this book perseveres that line of reasoning; what would happen if this was the result? What would follow if the contrary was true?
An emotional journey of loss and grief for a child and its toll on a marriage. Very sad, but recommended read.
4 stars out of 5 combined
Review by Nerijus 🧔 & Ingrid 👩🏻🦰