By Julie Buxbaum
While tragedy moves around the ocean, Ellie Lerner drops everything—her marriage, her activity, her existence within the Boston suburbs—to commute to London and decide up the items of her ally Lucy’s lifestyles. whereas Lucy’s husband, Greg, retreats into himself, his and Lucy’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, has easily stopped conversing. eager to support Sophie, Ellie turns to a publication that gave her convenience as a baby, The mystery Garden. As its tale of damage, magic, and therapeutic blooms round them, so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some mammoth, a few small. Peeling again the layers of her friend’s lifestyles, Ellie is pressured to confront her personal in addition: the wedding she left at the back of, the loss she’d was hoping to flee. And unexpectedly Ellie’s conscientiously developed lifestyles is spinning uncontrolled in a series of occasions that might rework her life—and the lives of these round her—forever.
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Extra info for After You (Random House Reader's Circle)
I didn’t say anything back; I was still digesting. Of course she hadn’t meant it. She was just trying to be outrageous, and she had, as usual, succeeded. No one could have believed it was possible; for weeks afterward our teachers would say that, over and over again, as we all wrote letters of condolence to President Reagan, just like Gorbachev did: I can’t believe it. Today, more than twenty-two years later, I am thrown back to that moment—those seventy-three seconds—as if I am still sitting at that wooden desk, watching the thirty-inch television screen brought in on a rolling cart, Lucy shaking next to me, both of us wearing side ponies tied up with hot-pink scrunchies.
My evidence that Lucy is playing—was playing, was, was, was—posh London wife, in betrayal of our shared hippie roots in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it was a point of pride to rescue and refurbish furniture from the sidewalk. The room is decorated with the delicate antiques she’s picked up from Portobello Market through the years, giving the place a shabby-chic feel; everything looks both expensive and tattered, though more the former than the latter. Phillip is sitting on our couch in our living room, in Sharon, a town that clings just to the edges of Boston, the perfect distance for suburban commuter glory and only thirty minutes from where Lucy and I grew up.
Lucy and I talked at least once a day, e-mailed maybe four times that—strange that she never once mentioned three different nannies. Seeing Lucy’s handwriting, though—the same scrawl that Mrs. Roberts used to yell at her for in elementary school, the same haphazard Ls that used to decorate the letters she would write me when I went to Girl Scout camp in the summers—makes me feel dizzy, and I close my eyes against the rush. She always called me L—not Elle, like Phillip calls me, elongating the sounds, but L.