Everything After by Jill Santopolo
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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Emily has come a long way since she was a college student. Now a psychologist at NYU, she helps troubled college students through their issues the same way someone once helped her. She is married to the wonderful Ezra, a deeply caring pediatric oncologist, and her life is seemingly perfect. But when she recognizes a song she hears on the radio, she is emotionally transported to her college days. The singer, Austin, is actually Rob, her college boyfriend, and the song is a love song he wrote for her. Caught between what could have been and her current life, Emily struggles to decide what she wants for her future.
Everything After is told in two narratives. One is Emily in the third person in the present. The other is composed of diary entries from Emily starting in her college years. I thoroughly enjoyed this style. It worked perfectly to reveal Emily’s character and to get to know more about how she ended up in her current situation, with hints of how her own thoughts and feelings have changed through the years.
One of the major themes of Everything After is miscarriage. Without giving too much away, Emily has a miscarriage and it impacts her in such a profound way. Her experience frames the story.
I loved this beautiful book! Emily is a great character, and I enjoyed watching her figure out her passions and fight for herself. I genuinely had no idea where the story was going to go, but I loved how it ended.
Thank you to Putnam Books for the gifted copy of Everything After. All opinions are my own.
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Synopsis from Goodreads
The Light We Lost mixes with a touch of Daisy Jones and the Six in this novel of first love, passion, and the power of choice–and how we cannot escape the people we are meant to be.
Two loves. Two choices. One chance to follow her dreams.
Emily has come a long way since she lost her two passions fifteen years ago: music, and Rob. She’s a psychologist at NYU who helps troubled college students like the one she once was. Together with her caring doctor husband, Ezra, she has a beautiful life. They’re happy. They hope to start a family. But when a tragic event in Emily’s present too closely echoes her past, and parts of her story that she’d hoped never to share come to light, her perfect life is suddenly upturned. Then Emily hears a song on the radio about the woman who got away. The melody and voice are hauntingly familiar. Could it be? As Emily’s past passions come roaring back into her life, she’ll find herself asking: Who is she meant to be? Who is she meant to love?
About the Author
Jill Santopolo is the author of the The Light We Lost, the Alec Flint Mysteries, the Sparkle Spa series, and the Follow Your Heart books. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a certificate in Intellectual Property Law from NYU. Jill is also the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. When she’s not writing or editing, Jill is a thesis advisor at The New School in their MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is on the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course. Jill has traveled all over the U.S.—and to Canada and Europe—to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City.