Hardcover ☆ Afterlife ePUB Ú

Hardcover ☆ Afterlife ePUB Ú

Afterlife [Reading] ➳ Afterlife ➻ Julia Alvarez – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their AccentsAntonia Vega the immigrant writer The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their AccentsAntonia Vega the immigrant writer at the center of  Afterlife has had the rug pulled out from under her She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband Sam suddenly dies And then jolts her bighearted but unstable sister disappears and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant undocumented teenager on her doorstep Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands of her than words Afterlife is a compact nimble and sharply droll novel Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust it asks What do we owe those in crisis in our families including—maybe especially—members of our human family How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost.

10 thoughts on “Afterlife

  1. Angela M Angela M says:

    Not long ago I read and was so taken with In the Time of the Butterflies and I was anxious to get to Alvarez’s other novels I was given the opportunity to read her newest and I couldn’t pass it up On a personal note this was not the best book I could have chosen to read at this time but fortunately there is an abundance of love and kindness and hope on these pages Also the fabulous writing helped me focus on reading than I have been able to this last month It’s an introspective story of a woman’s grief having lost her husband and a sense of who she is without him It’s a story covering so many things the need to be needed love of family relationships with sisters especially each with their idiosyncrasies who deeply love each other It’s about the timely issue of immigration and about mental illness as well It’s a beautifully written sad but uplifting novel Having read this makes me want to get to Alvarez’s earlier works for sureI received an advanced copy of this book from Algonuin First Reader’s Club and Edelweiss

  2. Paula Paula says:

    AFTERLIFE is a beautifully written short book about life after losing a loved oneAntonia Vega is a retired college professor living in rural Vermont who has recently lost her husband Sam Her husband was a beloved doctor who cared for all whether born locally or the undocumented who have come to work on the farms It’s interesting that neighbors thought Sam’s affection for immigrants was because his wife is originally from the Dominican Republic Not true however as this was just Sam’s nature It’s a nice play on how we as people assume so much about others even though knowing littleJulia Alvarez has interwoven nicely the relationship of four sisters the strain of what mental illness can have on family when one is ill and the challenges of all of a sudden being on your own This is a book that asks a lot of uestions What do we owe ourselves and others? How do we remake ourselves after the death of a spouse?I’d like to thank Algonuin Books for sending me a hard copy of AFTERLIFE by Julia Alvarez All opinions are my own35 out of 5 starsPublication date April 7 2020

  3. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    Another beautiful heartfelt exhilarating insightful reading shakes you to the core makes you uestion so many things you’ve done with your life The author tells us many thought provoking issues starting from how to gather the pieces of your life after you lost your loved one dynamics between sisterhood their complex relationships learning to put your needs first but also listening to people’s needs and extending your helpful hands real and heartbreaking issues about undocumented immigrants how to connect with the people who suffer from mental illness Antonia doesn’t know what to do after sudden death of her beloved husband but before rethinking about her afterlife she has to deal with her sister’s vanishing Izzy who is fighting with her mental illness And of course she encounters with a girl at her door steps pregnant and undocumented teenager A fast and riveting start of the story hooks you from the beginning and keeping your attention alive till the end I’m so happy that grieving of Antonia was not depressing bleak disturbing and dark as I expected and I loved the idea that Antonia never wants to leave her husband and his memory behind finding a creative way to keep his memory alive Because we understand from the beginning her husband has an important role to shape Antonia’s identity throughout years He taught her important life lessons and opening herself to the goodness reaching her hands to help the other people He was an amazing man and I loved their sacred relationship This was a memorable gripping and meaningful and one of my fastest reading I’m so happy that the author created this poignant touchy story after 15 years later And I hope she won’t stop writing in near futureSpecial thanks to NetGalley and Algonuin Books for sharing this incredible book’s ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review And I’m so happy to see a talented writer back and create new remarkable storiesbloginstagramfacebooktwitter

  4. Karen Karen says:

    45Antonia lives alone in Vermont She is a 66 yr old recent widow she is a retired English professor and writer who had came to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a child Her husband Sam had been a kind and caring American doctor in the community Antonia also is part of a hilarious sisterhood she has three sisters scattered about the States all in their 60’s also the oldest at present time having some mental health issuesAlso living next door to Antonia is a farmer who employs immigrants that are kind of hiding out one who has brought his pregnant girlfriend over from Mexico using a CoyoteSo Antonia is facing living alone in isolation with all the challenges of her new widowed state and the immigrants get her involved in their dilemma and those sisters of hers need her to help with the crazy sister This was just so humorous in places where the sisters interacted I really enjoyed it

  5. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    This is a beautifully written bookrich raw real outstanding ‘gorgeous writingwith thought provoking themes on love loss the bereaved immigration and the undocumented Less than 300 pages “How does the imagination of the poor age? Perhaps from much practice over the course of a lifetime— always having to imagine a better life— it stays vigorous At a recent reading at the college a guest lecturer spoke about the origins of Black English This rich folk language is what occurred when African people with intensely musical and oral culture came up against the King James Bible and the sweet talking American South under conditions that denied them all outlets for their visions and gifts except the transformation of the English language into song” “And what about those who cannot bear up under deprivations Who are traumatized and silenced by hard times? If she ever gets back to writing Antonio wants the stories she tells— to come from that deeper hurting place Perhaps grief will be good for her work?” “Broken English The phrase once leveled at her and her sisters She mended her broken pieces and ended up teaching Americans their own language four decades total three at the nearby college What now now that she has retired?” “We shall see her mother used to say ue sera sera” Mario and Jose were getting up for the first milking of the day “And to think this happens before dawn every morning with or without her insomnia to note it” “Wouldn’t it make a great book? She had mentioned it several times to Sam Short chapters about the people who keep our world going? Invisible people we don’t even know about? “Invisible to whom? Sam had a way of asking uestions that always stopped her short” Julia Alvarez gives us an exuisite powerful storysparkling with poetic vision Complexities and tragedies “Afterlife” is wise finely observed and a delicate balance of intimacy and grief taking us on a fascinating ethical journey in prose that shines from the love Antonia has for her husband who died A short lonely and tender noveluncovering difficult parts of life—making meaningful connections with those around Antonia after her retirement and the loss of the man she loved than life itself “Personification is not merely a literary term she used to tell her classes Literature has to pull its weight in the real world or else it’s of no use to us” Antonia was sensitive about her deficiency of her Dominican primary school educationher poor sense of geography and math skills “A part of you dies with them Antonio now knows but wait a while and they return bringing you back with them So is this all his afterlife will amount to? Sam inspired deeds from the people who loved him?” “Could that possibly be what the aftermath amounts to an eternity of remembering‘s? Over to you Sam She talks to him in her head You always liked being the one to know But the after life is changed him He no longer seems interested in having the last word” As Beautiful as the best memories as sad as the best songs as hopeful as your best dreamsI could feel every peak and valley of Julia’s emotional challenges on my skin and in my gut One of the years best booksDeserves to win every honor it receives

  6. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    How many things can happen in a short period of time? After years teaching English to college students Antonia has retired She looks forward to spending time with her husband Sam but he unexpectedly dies Soon she will have even to handle when a young pregnant immigrant girl shows up and her sisters reuire her services in an intervention for their eldest sisterGrief relationships between sisters and immigration Common enough themes but Alvarez makes the common something new and different There is sadness humor and a woman who needs to find a new way forward A natural storyteller the book flows seamlessly There are also wonderful uotes from books and poems placed in appropriate places I enjoyed every single line of this book her word usage was terrific Alvarez's first adult book in fifteen years is well worth readingARC from Algonuin books

  7. Elle Elle says:

    What a story to lose yourself in I have been meaning to read Julia Alvarez for some time In the Time of the Butterflies How the García Girls Lost Their Accents etc but I just kept putting it off for some reason Afterlife has propelled her works back to the front of the TBR pile So many emotions and deep reflections were packed into this petite novel I can only imagine what she does with even pagesThe best thing about this book is the dynamic between Antonia and her sisters I so rarely get to read things where a woman in her sixties is the main character and this book has four of them Alvarez writes Izzy Tilly Mona and Antonia with such life and candor that I can’t imagine that they aren’t based on real people When I read the description I was drawn in by the mention of “a pregnant undocumented teenager on her doorstep” but I absolutely stayed for the interfamilial conflict At the heart of this story is grief and loss relayed with such raw compassion that—yeah I’ll admit it—I cried a bit We watch Antonia struggle with loss long after the sympathy wave has dissipated She pinballs from one crisis to another in order to distract herself from the empty space both literal and figurative that now inhabits her life She’s making decisions and responding to situations differently than she had before and is left wondering which choices are her own I’ve recently discovered one of my most read sub genres is ‘Death’ so I guess this is right up my own morbid alleyThe uestion that Antonia Alvarez and the reader keeps being drawn back to is a philosophical one what do we owe one another? And also to an extent what do we owe ourselves? There’s no easy answers provided here None as binary as ‘nothing’ or ‘everything’ The answer lies probably somewhere in the middle in the excruciatingly non specific “something” Yes we owe each other something Otherwise what’s the point of it all? Thanks to Algonuin Books Netgalley for an advance copy

  8. Matt Matt says:

    “Antonia is finding it increasingly difficult to keep up her faith in people in herself In the past when her own stash got this low there was always her husband Sam filling up her cup with his abundant kindness She has continued to think a lot about the afterlife especially in the absence of any sign from Sam What if anything does it mean? An afterlife? All she has come up with is that the only way not to let the people she loves die forever is to embody what she loved about them Otherwise the world is indeed depleted” Julia Alvarez AfterlifeJulia Alvarez’s novel Afterlife is a tiny thing It is only 256 pages long and those pages belong to a hardcover that is just larger than pocket sized This is worth mentioning because there is a lot crammed into those pages When the novel begins we are introduced to a recently retired English teacher named Antonia Vega Within the past year Antonia’s beloved husband Sam died of a heart attack – an incident breathtakingly recounted in the dazzling first pages While dealing with this loss Antonia – who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic – is drawn into the orbit of an undocumented worker from Mexico who labors at a farm near her rural Vermont home That worker has a pregnant girlfriend who shortly arrives at her front door in need of assistance Somewhat grudgingly Antonia tries to help all while a well meaning – or is he suspicious? – sheriff keeps nosing around her house To top it all off Antonia’s eldest sister Izzy has failed to show up for a birthday party causing Antonia and her other sisters Tilly and Mona to fear the worse That is a lot of plot for a little book With each of the balls that Alvarez threw into the air I wondered how such a slight spine could carry so much conflict and thematic weight After all entire books have been devoted to exploring grief to exploring family and sisterhood to exploring the plight of immigrants illegal and otherwise And that doesn’t even account for the forays into mental illness I worried that it would be hard if not impossible to give each of these elements the time and attention it deserved More than that I thought that the overall busyness would be a distraction reducing Antonia’s experiences to the biblical trials of Job It would give away too much to attempt to explain how Alvarez pulls this off but she does Despite all the twists Afterlife never feels freighted with contrivances It hums along briskly and each event that pops up leads naturally to the next step in the story More than that each individual trial informs the other challenges faced by Antonia so that there is a subtle interlocking of everything that occurs All this is helped along immensely by Alvarez’s graceful prose easy wit wise perceptions and love of language both English and Spanish This – I am not proud to say – is the first book I’ve read by Julie Alvarez Thus it is hard to rank Afterlife in terms of her career output Nevertheless I have the feeling that this is not necessarily up there with – for instance – In the Time of Butterflies which is currently sitting on my shelf I got the sense instead that this was a bit of a valedictory for Alvarez If nothing else it feels personal since Alvarez and Antonia share many similarities the same rough age the same immigration experience the same profession Afterlife is set in 2019 with the mosue shootings in Christchurch New Zealand specifically referenced as a timepoint Beside the mass shooting Antonia’s life is filled with worries both local and worldwide She has concerns about the treatment of immigrants along the southern border about healthcare about the environment not to mention her fears of being alone of aging As I read this I thought about Antonia and how she would be reacting right now because if she thought 2019 was a tough yearWell as the saying goes 2020 would like you to hold its beer There is a lot of sadness in these pages and a moment or two of despair Yet when I finished I actually felt pretty good That is a testament to how fully realized Antonia is as a character Alvarez draws her with a deft touch making her – and the world she inhabits – feel uite real This holds true for even secondary characters Despite not having a lot of page time almost everyone who appears in Afterlife from Antonia’s sisters to the nosey sheriff is dealt with empathetically and given enough resonance to make you believe they have an independent existence and are not just plot points meant to propel Antonia’s arc Importantly Alvarez also imbues Antonia with the ability to grow and learn so that by the time we reach the final pages she has some measure of hope As a reader I did too

  9. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    I love love love this author and her tender stories ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Antonia Vega is an immigrant writer and recent retiree who loses her husband suddenly As life often is stressful events pile on and Antonia is lost than ever She often turns to books and writing for comfort but even those aren’t helping her nowAfterlife is a tiny book full of heart and meaning Antonia is searching for herself amongst her grief and she’s also seeking to honor her beloved who typically would be there to support her in times like thisAfterlife is a book about grief sisters Alvarez consistently pens this relationship with poignance and immigration It’s an every day story with characters who could be your neighbor The writing is brilliant and the messages like a warm hug I am thankful for another gift from Julia Alvarez in the form of this beautiful storyI received a gifted copy from the publisher All opinions are my own Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog wwwjennifertarheelreadercom and instagram wwwinstagramcomtarheelreader

  10. Brandice Brandice says:

    In Afterlife Antonia Vega’s world changes when her husband Sam dies suddenly just as she retires from her teaching position as an English professor in rural Vermont As Antonia attempts to deal with her grief two of her sisters Tilly and Mona reach out for her assistance with coaxing their other sister Izzy into seeking help for her erratic and unstable behavior — An increasing worry among the sisters Antonia’s neighbor Roger employs immigrants to work on his farm one of whom reaches out to Antonia for help with coordinating his girlfriend’s arrival from Mexico Estela shows up pregnant and is turned away by her boyfriend Mario unhappy to see she is having a baby which cannot be his With these coinciding situations Antonia searches for balance trying to navigate life without her husband and reflecting on uestions from a Tolstoy story she taught Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Afterlife is my first Julia Alvarez book and I really liked it The topics are real and I enjoyed the style used throughout this well written story

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