Life After Alison by Bruce Aiken

A huge thank you to Bruce Aiken for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Synopsis

Alison is thirty-six and life is good. She has a husband, who’s an English teacher at a local school and two young children, Claire who is nine and Martin six. And life would probably have continued to be good if she hadn’t died.Stuck in the limbo between life and whatever comes next, Alison watches over her family as they grow.Her death may have changed her, but it also changed the lives of her closest friend, Hayley, and her estranged mother – both vie to care for her children and husband. Alison hangs around for thirty-seven years. Sometimes laughing, sometimes fragile, occasionally frightened, often frustrated. She makes friends in this new after life and almost, but not quite, falls in love again.

My Thoughts

What would you do if one day you found yourself in your home, alongside your family but nobody could see/hear you because you’re dead? That’s what happened to Alison! 

Life After Alison is a thought provoking, poignant but uplifting tale of families, grief and growth – and it’s simply a joy to read.

I loved the process of telling the story through the eyes of a ghost.  This tale is not meant to be heavily focused on the paranormal (this is just my opinion) but more about family, friendships and human interaction/nature.

Alison unexpectedly finds that she is dead but able to live in her home with her family.  Spanning over decades, we get to see how her family change and adapt without her and how they grow.  I loved getting to know Richard, Hayley, Claire and Martin and telling their lives through Alison’s eyes was such a clever and emotional way to develop the personalities, lives and dynamics.  Alison appeared at many significant events in her family’s lives and these really hot hard for me – thinking about all those moments she never fully got to share with her family.    

I loved the character of Alison.  She often displayed sharp wit and sarcastic humour which had me chuckling. There were moments that I had tears and a lump in my throat too – especially at the more intimate family times that she could witness but never quite be fully connect with.  The way her family remembered her, or the rare times they felt her around them was so tenderly written and I was constantly willing for them to see her – just once.  Of course, being a ghost takes some getting used to and Alison had her fair share of funny moments.  I particularly enjoyed her conversations with Ronnie the cat too. 

This is an emotional, poignant story and I loved every minute of it – it deserves a lot of love and I cannot recommend it enough.

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