review Afterlife Ð eBook or Kindle ePUB

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review Afterlife Ð eBook or Kindle ePUB ¸ 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 tFterlife 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. “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

Julia Alvarez ê 3 read

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 A. 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

free download ò eBook or Kindle ePUB ê Julia Alvarez

AfterlifeThe 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. 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