Afterthought, Janet Clare’s debut novel, is a skillful examination of the power of secrets and our flawed belief that we can control them. Reading the novel, it’s almost difficult to remember that it is, in fact, a debut; so assured is Clare in her prose. Her ability with words is deeply evident in the creativity of the novel’s construction, and she approaches Lilly’s narrative with a nakedness that captures the protagonist’s personality – and her somewhat bleak view of love and life – very well. Lilly’s attitude and her actions – including an attraction, more or less incestuous, to her half-brother Grant – will work either for or against the reader, depending upon the audience, as all books do. For me, Afterthought represented a creative triumph, a journey through life’s non-beauties set against the backdrop of an otherwise enchanting place, and I appreciated the depth and clarity of Clare’s story. The themes the novel explores are all bold, and they require equal boldness in order to capture them: Clare demonstrates this exceptionally well.
While it could likely be expected that a story of a father and daughter uniting for the first time would be a heartfelt journey to familial love rediscovered, Afterthought puts its heart into a far less idyllic place, but a place that’s just as real. In its efforts, the novel achieves a uniquely observant contemplation of life’s challenges and the way our choices can affect its fragility. Beautifully rendered and engagingly paced, Afterthought is a novel I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.
Title: Afterthought Author: Janet Clare Genre: drama, romance Publisher: Janet Clare Release date: September 2, 2010 Source: Janet Clare (c/o) Buy the book: Kindle | Smashwords Connect with the author: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter