Simply a Brilliant Book: Read an Extract From After the End by Clare Mackintosh

Simply a Brilliant Book: Read an Extract From After the End by Clare Mackintosh

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After the End is a devastating, beautifully written novel about an impossible choice. Clare Mackintosh is known for thrillers. This is very different territory. It’s heartbreaking territory, but absolutely worth it.

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son is diagnosed with a brain tumour and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. Medical advice is that Dylan’s condition is terminal, and if prolonged his quality of life will be diminished. The heartbroken parents are advised to accept palliative care for Dylan. However, it’s their choice. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son. Max is desperate to keep Dylan alive. Pip wants her son to be spared of further pain.

The first part of the book alternates between Max, Pip and Dylan’s doctor as we journey with them through the terrain of Dylan’s illness, how their life has changed and then the realisation that a decision needs to bemade about Dylan’s treatment. When Max and Pip are unable to agree, Dr Khalili informs them that the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service will allocate a guardian for Dylan and appoint a barrister. The case will be heard in court.

There are similarities here with the Charlie Gard case in London in 2017, where Charlie’s parents wanted to try an experimental treatment in the USA, however the British courts supported the Great Ormond Street Hospital decision to not allow that and instead begin palliative care. However, the inspiration behind the story is more personal. In 2006, Clare Mackintosh and her husband had to make the devastating decision to turn off their son’s life support. Her familiarity with children’s hospitals and heartbreak is evident, but there is more than that on the pages of this book – there is survival and hope.

From the day of judgement in court, the book changes gears and in alternating chapters we see how life would proceed for the family under both outcomes – where the judge decides to proceed with palliative care, and where the judge orders an experimental treatment. Mackintosh weaves these different realities skilfully together, and we realise that sometimes different choices will ultimately lead in similar directions.

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

After the End destroyed me, but somehow, by the end, it put me back together again. Despite the pain, there is hope. There is love. And every single aspect of that is so beautifully told. I loved this book. I could not put it down.

This is a brilliant book club pick. It’s simply a brilliant book.

About the author:

With over 2 million copies of her books sold worldwide, number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of I Let You Go, which was a Sunday Timesbestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It also won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2016. Both Clare’s second and third novels, I See You and Let Me Lie, were number one Sunday Times bestsellers. All three of her books were selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, and together have been translated into over thirty-five languages.

Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

For more information visit Clare’s website www.claremackintosh.com or find her at www.facebook.com/ClareMackWrites or on Twitter @ClareMackint0sh #ILetYouGo #ISeeYou #LetMeLie #AftertheEnd

Buy a copy of After the End here

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                      Publisher details

                      After the End
                      Author
                      Clare Mackintosh
                      Publisher
                      Hachette
                      Genre
                      Fiction
                      Released
                      25 June, 2019

                      Synopsis

                      The powerful and page-turning new novel from number one Sunday Times bestseller, Clare MackintoshMax and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they're facing the most important decision of their lives - and they don't agree.As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again.But anything can happen after the end...A stunning new novel from Clare Mackintosh, the number one bestselling author of I LET YOU GO, I SEE YOU and LET ME LIEDiscover Clare Mackintosh's most powerful book yet...'This was a heart-breaking read and at times I forgot to breathe''If I could give this book 10 stars I would''This book touched my soul''I could not put it down. What a story. What a storyteller''This is in my top five books of all time. Absolutely incredible'
                      Clare Mackintosh
                      About the author

                      Clare Mackintosh

                      Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.Clare's debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015, selling over one million copies worldwide. It won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2016 and was selected for ITV's Loose Women's Loose Books. Clare's second novel, I See You was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. I Let You Go and I See You were both selected for the Richard & Judy Book club and have sold in over 60 international territories combined. Let Me Lie is Clare's third novel.Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.

                      Books by Clare Mackintosh

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