Afterlife

This is the new book by Julia Alvarez and it is smart and engaging.  In her beautiful prose, she engages with comtemporary and painful issues, such as suicide, depression and immigration.  I bet you want to stop reading right there!  DON’T.  This book is not at all depressing but very thoughtful and compassionate.

Antonia, the main character, has recently lost the love of her life in a car accident when he was on his way to her retirement reception.  Her days of college English professor were over.  Living in rural Vermont, Antonia is navigating her way through her “afterlife” without Sam.  Next door, some illegal immigrants are doing farm work and their plight becomes her mantra for justice.  Antonia is one of four sisters, the sisterhood as they call themselves, are close and in contact daily, especially when the eldest, Izzy, exhibits irrational behaviors.  

Interwoven in this narrative is the author’s love of her Dominican Republic.  Interwoven as well, is her love of language and words.  Some of her beautiful words include “Let’s see what love can do” ( a quote from her grandmother).  “The best thing we can give the people who love us, is to take care of ourselves so we don’t become a burden to them"

This book was a pleasure to read!