Saturday, May 29, 2021

Book Review: "After Happily Ever After" by Leslie A. Rasmussen

Leslie Rasmussen's debut novel, After Happily Ever After, is a poignant, thought-provoking look at a woman who wants more from her life.

Maggie used to feel important. She used to feel needed. She decided to leave her successful career as an editor when her daughter Gia was born and stay at home while she grew up, but now Gia is getting ready to go to college, and to say they don’t see eye to eye is a bit of an understatement. What happens when your daughter just views you as a chauffeur and errand-runner?

Meanwhile, her husband Jim, a therapist, is getting more and more distant. He barely wants to be in the same room with her, let alone have sex, and he doesn’t want to tell her what’s bothering him.

To top it all off, Maggie's father’s dementia seems to be getting worse, leaving her to deal with her mother and her brother, with whom she has complicated relationships.

So this is 45? When the only thing giving her any happiness is a flirtation with a handsome younger man at the gym, Maggie really doesn’t know which way to turn, or what her future might hold. But if she doesn’t know what she wants, how can she get it?

So many of us around a certain age have struggled with one or more of these issues, so After Happily Ever After has resonance and emotional weight to it. The characters don’t always make the best choices, and of course if they only said what they were thinking, things would be easier, but that’s just life.

I did feel the ending was a little abrupt, and I would have loved an epilogue of some sort to know what happened. But this is a debut novel that definitely didn’t feel like one, so can’t wait to see what comes next for Rasmussen!!

BookSparks and She Writes Press provided me with a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

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