By Rosamund Lupton
Crown, 2011. 386 pgs. Fiction
An average field day at her son's private school becomes much more when Grace sees the school building burst into flames and she realizes both her children are inside. Desperate to save them, she runs into the smoke and heat. Her heroic attempts to get her kids to safety place Grace and her daughter in comas. However, while their bodies are fighting for life, their spirits are free to roam the hospital and Grace begins to discover that the fire was not an accident and her children are still in grave danger.
Lupton's new novel is a bit reminiscent of her best-seller from last year, "Sister." The narration follows a similar voice as a woman tells her loved one about her attempts to safeguard her family. But "Afterwards" also feels a bit like "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold as Grace's spirit self investigates the events that placed her beyond the veil. This is a great second novel for Lupton and a great choice for a wide variety of readers.