Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The World After Alice

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green
7/2/24; 320 pages

The World After Alice by Lauren Aliza Green is a recommended family drama following two families brought together to celebrate an unexpected marriage.

Morgan Helmsley and Benji Weil surprise their families with a wedding invitation to Maine. The two kept their relationship a secret up until now. Their wedding will be the first time the two families have been together since the tragic death of sixteen-year-old Alice and the fallout that followed twelve years ago. Alice was the sister of Benji and best friends with Morgan and no one has been the same since her death. Now the guests arrive in Maine but with them also arrive with their own agendas. It is a miasma of old wounds, secrets, and hurt.

This is a character driven novel and it closely follows the relationships and interactions between them. All of the characters have depth and are fully realized individuals. None of them are particularly likable, but they are depicted with a raw, emotional honesty. They are all flawed people. It becomes clear how intertwined these family members are and how terribly wrong everything could go for Morgan and Benji.

The pace is slow and the relationships are complicated, which results in furthering slowing the pace. The overall tone is rather sad and depressing. The narrative is told in alternating timelines, before and after the suicide and then the present day. This didn't work as smoothly as I would have preferred. This also served to further slow the pace. The language is

Personally, the overall premise that Morgan and Benji must invite family to their wedding rather than simply inviting who they wanted and announcing it to the rest, was one that I thought was ridiculous. Thanks to Viking for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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