This was a heart-breaking and heart-warming novel. I love Claire's writing style and she really brings her characters to life. There were many times I struggled to put this down to do other things as I was so engrossed in reading it. I absolutely loved this!
As always this book by clare mackintosh did not disappoint. i have read every novel by her and always will
Loved this book - it shiws how life can change so dramatically and how devastating it can be when it does - then the resilience to put it back together again
If you enjoy emotionally-charged books about moral dilemmas - like the work of Jodi Picoult, for example - you will love this story. Couple Max and Pip are tasked with the hardest decision of their lives when their son is diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. When Max and Pip don't agree on the best way forward in terms of their son's treatment, they seek legal counsel and take their concerns to a judge.
I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It introduced the characters really well and had a great sense of emotional depth to it. The second half of the book splits into two narratives: in one, the judge sides with one parent; in the second, the judge sides with the other. As readers we get to see how life plays out for the family, as the book explores these narratives. I found this part of the book interesting but it failed to have the same emotional depth as the first, and verged a little into daytime soap territory for me. Disappointing, because the first half of the book is a 4-5 star read.
I really liked the exploration of quality of time over quantity of time, and of family, loss and grief.
Another incredible book by this incredible author. Gut wrenching beautiful. 5 stars without a doubt!
Well this was a tough read that's for sure and certainly won't be for everyone, but it had me reading and hooked despite the subject, also made more poignant by the fact the author had to make a similar decision.
Max and Pip are in the hospital with their extremely sick little boy when they are faced with the awful decision of having to choose end of life care for him. Unfortunately, making things worse is the fact that they can't agree, so the decision is having yo go to the courts. In the first half of this book we switch back and forth between the characters as we hear their thoughts as it leads up to the court case. The second half turns into a sliding doors style read, which for me was slightly confusing in places as I couldn't read in big chunks and i kept forgetting who I was reading about and which scenario I was in, but it was interesting to see the lives and what unfolded.
Overall one I would recommend, but with a massive caveat of the subject and I would say one to read in big chunks when you have time to experience the emotions fully.
After the end is a heart wrenching read which is a slight detour from what we have previously seen from the author. This book is written from the heart as she has lived this dilemma. I feel that knowing this only adds to the sentimental value of the book.
Pip and Max have to decide on the future of their son’s life; but they cannot agree. This book follows the tortured souls of Pip and Max who are trying to navigate their way through their marriage whilst making decision which are in the best interest of their very sick young son. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. It is charged with emotion throughout and I found a lodged in my throat for much of the book.
This book is thought provoking and can be for some parents, sadly a reality. Clare told this story with guts and courage, she manoeuvres her readers through the constant dilemmas and issues faced by Max and Pip expertly and has in my opinion delivered an excellent novel. I cannot imagine how she felt writing this book after having lived this life.
Thank you Clare for sharing this piece of you with us. It is an excellent read but it is heart wrenching.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my ARC.
A heartbreaking story with fantastic characters and absolutely flawless writing. I will write anything Clare writes but this was something special.
An utterly heartbreaking story about an impossible choice that a married couple needs to make about their son.
A unique storyline that explores both what ifs. Loved it.
Thank you for my advance copy!
Really enjoyed this book
It’s a complete page Turner and Claire does her magic and keeps you turning the page
Wow wow wow what a book. A sad book with a hard story to tell told in a beautiful way. The first half of the book telling the story of a child who is dying and the decision that needs to be made whether he lives or dies. The second half of the book is after the decision and is confusing to begin with, until you realise what is happening. It was a lovely book and would highly recommend it, but have tissues ready when you read it.
This book will stay with me for a long long time. An emotional read.
5 stars from me.
Thanks to#NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
This book is so complex and yet so simple. This is a story of a family. Of two parents forced to make a heartbreaking and nigh on impossible decision. That alone tugs at the emotions enough, Clare Mackintosh manages to kick this whole tragedy up a notch from the point at which the case goes to court. The first half of the novel builds the scene, allows readers into Max and Pip's world as they struggle to cope with the changes to their lives and the impact Dylan's hospital treatment and ultimate diagnosis has upon them and their marriage. We see them as a family, learn of their past, of how happy they were. See all the tragedy and heartbreak of the Paediatric ICU, as well as some of the good news stories and the internal jealousy they bring, all of his captured with heart-wrenching authenticity on the page. See how love turns to bitterness as Max and Pip struggle to find common ground in how to do best by Dylan, and hear the various testimony about what is truly in the best interests of their child.
And it is at this point that the author has played a blinder, taking readers down a 'Sliding Doors' style path and allowing readers to picture the future for the family depending on which way the court decision goes. Both options are heartbreaking. Both lead to loss, pain, recriminations and strain. But then there is so much more besides. You will think you know, that you can predict what will happen, but you'd probably be wrong. Both roads are winding, undulating, and either way Max and Pip face hurdles that seem almost insurmountable, ones that will make you take pause and wonder how you would react in the same situation. How would you react if you faced the choices that Max and Pip are forced to make?
And yet, they story is not as bleak as you may think. There is real sense of hope in spite of all the loss. Yes, you will shed a tear. It's near impossible not to given the nature of the story. Told from the points of view of Max, Pip, and Dylan's doctor, Leila, Clare Mackintosh has written this book from a point of experience, bringing a real sense of authenticity to the tale but without making it into a simple tragedy. it is a beautiful book, one which I felt slightly detached from never having been a parent, but not so much that I couldn't imagine the pain of making that choice. Couldn't feel the angst that seeps from the page in the early stages of the book, or the sense of new beginnings that ultimately figures into the latter half of the book. What is clear is that there really is no right or wrong decision, only the decision that you make.
Beautiful, tragic, poignant and also uplifting, this is an emotional tale that takes readers on an unforgettable journey. Definitely recommended.
Heartbreaking book. Very well written. Really makes you wonder what you would do in the same situation.
I am in charge of the senior library and work with a group of Reading Ambassadors from 16-18 to ensure that our boarding school library is modernised and meets the need of both our senior students and staff. It has been great to have the chance to talk about these books with our seniors and discuss what they want and need on their shelves. I was drawn to his book because I thought it would be something different from the usual school library fare and draw the students in with a tempting storyline and lots to discuss.
This book was a really enjoyable read with strong characters and a real sense of time and place. I enjoyed the ways that it maintained a cracking pace that kept me turning its pages and ensured that I had much to discuss with them after finishing. It was not only a lively and enjoyable novel but had lots of contemporary themes for our book group to pick up and spend hours discussing too.
I think it's important to choose books that interest as well as challenge our students and I can see this book being very popular with students and staff alike; this will be an excellent purchase as it has everything that we look for in a great read - a tempting premise, fantastic characters and a plot that keeps you gripped until you close its final page.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to read and review this book.
After losing and replacing my broken Kindle and getting a new phone I was unable to download the title again for review as it was no longer available on Netgalley.
I’m really sorry about this and hope that it won’t affect you allowing me to read and review your titles in the future.
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
After the End is the first book of @claremackwrites that I’ve read. I received an ARC from the publisher via @netgalley. This year I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons by following a few online book clubs. My work mate @chellesbookshelf was reading this with her book club so I thought I’d read along so we could discuss it too.
After the End is about couple Pip and Max. They’re faced with a decision each with a different view of how they should proceed and this book follows their journey to the point of decision and thereafter.
From the outset I had an inclination of what the decision might be and thought I had the plot nailed before I read further than the prologue. Wrong! The first part of the story follows the family’s journey to the point of decision making, taking turns with the perspective narrated by Pip, Max and supporting character Leila. When we reach the point where the decision is being made - revisiting the scene from the prologue the second part of the book forks. I don’t want to say to much but imagine ‘Sliding Doors’. I will say that it took me some time to remind myself with each narrative change which time period I was in.
I think at first with every new author it takes a beat to settle into their writing style however I’d definitely read more from this author. The story is heart wrenching in places throughout the beginning and I was definitely close to tears at one point. I think my assumption of where the story was going to go prevented me from being close to tears more frequently. I can’t imagine being in the position the characters find themselves in however I do imagine that the dignity and respect with which the author dealt with the subject spoke to a true portrayal of a situation like this.
Poignant and moving. This book really has you asking lots of questions about what would you do in this situation. Highly recommend.
Loving couple Pip and Max have a decision to make. Their toddler Dylan has terminal cancer and after months in hospital, his body battered by operations and chemo, doctors want to withdraw treatment. It’s the hardest choice a parent could face – and Pip and Max don’t agree on what to do. One wants to keep fighting, seeking out new treatments abroad, the other wants to put an end to Dylan's suffering, Clare Mackintosh employs a Sliding Doors-type narrative to explore both outcomes in searing emotional depth. This an important story – and her tender, intimate description of hospital life make Pip and Max’s dilemma achingly real.
A version of this review originally appeared in the Sunday Express S magazine
I received a free ebook version of this book through Netgalley. Thankyou to both Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this! My review is still honest.
After The End is a heartbreaking tale following Pip and Max, two parents who have to make a horrible decision concerning their young son who has cancer. It is an intriguing and upsetting discussion about what makes life worth living and how there is no right or wrong in horrific circumstances like these.
This book is a very intelligent one that explores a deep and meaningful relationship in all it's different forms in a sensitive and skilful way. The topics are handled with care and tact, and after reading the author's note about how she experiences something similar as a parent, it becomes all the more horrible and real. In the beginning, I was so absorbed in the emotions and setting of the PICU and this story became so vivid I actually dreamed about it. The characters are deep and flawed and I cared deeply about them despite their clear faults.
I really liked how the story diverges after the decision and shows the routes their lives would have taken either way. I thought it would become confusing by showing these two alternate realities simultaneously, but for the most part I was able to keep the two storylines separate. In both there are hardships and it really shows that in choices like the one Pip and Max are forced to make, there is really no right decision.
I don't think I can say it's a 5 star, but that's more a gut feeling than something I can articulate. If you like books that hit hard and that tackle difficult topics and pull on the heart strings, this one will not disappoint.