Let me start by saying that After I’m Gone is a romance with paranormal elements.
I write and read horror for the emotional jolt. When I delve into literary fiction, on the other hand, what I’m looking for is prose nuance and characterization. Reading Michelle Alstead’s After I’m Gone, I get everything.
Alstead’s book is about relationships (don’t revoke my guy card, please), with a paranormal twist (which serves my speculative urge). The prose is sharp and clean, though the fine writing is not the very best thing about the novel. Have you ever read a book and found yourself in love with the characters? Get ready.
The plot would appear to be familiar. Gabby’s husband Casey dies in a motorcycle accident. The trauma causes Gabby to miscarry. The tragedy carries the additional weight of past events, making the heartbreak more poignant. Then, the supernatural opportunity to change the past comes. But don’t think Peggy Sue will get married, or that Groundhog day will repeat. Alstead is too intelligent to serve up a platter of expectations. I was knocked out by the clever path the author cuts for the reader.
I don’t want to give away too much, because the book’s revelations are a pleasure. You’ll enjoy every moment you spend with Gabby. And the good news is, the author intends a series. Not a direct follow-up to Gabby’s story, but an exploration of peripheral characters—a guarantee of hours of great reading.
I loved this book. (Five stars out of five)