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After I left you by Alison Mercer - Review.

After I Left You - Alison  Mercer

Publication Date: Available Now.

 

Source: Netgalley

 

Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the fierce sting of betrayal, the heartache, the secret she carries around with her, the last night she spent with them all.  Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present, and Anna is faced with remembering the events of that summer and the people she left behind. As Anna realises that the events of their past have shaped the people they’ve all become, hope begins to blossom for what the future could hold . . .

 

This was an absolutely wonderful and evocative novel, just the type of story I love to read where an old incident shadows a new life and over the course of the tale we find out what, where, who, when, why and any number of other questions. Beautifully written with some well drawn and heart warming characters this really was a top notch read.

When Anna runs into her ex -boyfriend unexpectedly it brings into sharp focus some upsetting and life changing events from her past at an Oxford university – slowly but surely she begins to reconnect with her old friends from that life, one she thought she had left behind for good.

 

This is gorgeously constructed as we meet Anna in her present life then over time hear about her time at Oxford, the glorious friendships she developed there and how things did not really go to plan. You can see how she has changed, her personality very different now to the bubbly outgoing girl she comes across as in her younger years. This is very much a group arc tale,every character, although seen through Anna’s eyes,has a distinct personality all their own. The handsome Victor, the terribly needy Clarissa, the stable Meg and Keith, who struggles through the darkness. He was the one I related to the most, but all of them including Anna herself are absolutely fascinating.

 

As the author said, Anna’s Oxford is not entirely her Oxford and nor is it mine, but still it is captured in its essence perfectly, which probably made this an even better read for me. The setting comes to life around the characters and the whole thing is stirring and elegantly done.

 

Overall a really really good read, examining some issues which I can’t talk about in case of spoilers – but suffice to say it is done with sensitivity but still utterly compelling. An excellent story well told.

 

Happy Reading Folks!