This novel by Julia Alvarez was the selection for my book club this month. I found it to be a thought provoking book that caused me to look at several issues from different perspectives than I might normally approach them. The main character is dealing with a tragic loss and much of the book is about her coping and learning to live through this loss.
There are 2 other major themes in the book. The first is family and the different bonds and roles different members of the family develop and how childhood follows us long into adulthood and often the roles played as a child continue into adulthood. Related to this theme was how different members of the family can address/deal with a siblings behavior. Some want to view it as just who they are versus labeling it with a diagnosis of a mental illness. The book examines this concept and how the individual suffering may have a very different perspective than their family members.
The last issue the book raised was about illegal immigrants in the country. They play a role in society here in the US- I didn't necessarily associate this with Vermont but the book highlighted the dairy farms as a place of employment that I hadn't really thought of previously. The topic is a divisive one at times and I appreciated the author's perspective on seeing it from the immigrant's perspective even if I don't necessarily agree 100%
Alvarez definitely addresses these difficult topics and puts a humanizing face to them that causes the reader to stop and reflect.
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a well written story demonstrating the strong bond of sisterhood. It also touches on the strength of a woman and her efforts to move forward after a life changing event. While I neither loved nor disliked this book I did find it thought provoking and feel it offers an interesting perspective on a topic that is often polarizing to many. I appreciated the alternative perspective on a topic and it give me a point of view I wouldn’t necessarily have discovered otherwise
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Library Love #LibraryLoveChallenge - Book #90