Rosie’s #BookReview of #Contemporary #Paranormal Drama Life After Alison by Bruce Aiken

Life After Alison by [Bruce Aiken]Life After Alison by Bruce Aiken

3 stars

Life After Alison is a contemporary paranormal drama set in the UK. It spans a period of thirty years and begins in 1991 when Alison realises that she is missing a few weeks of her life; then, when no one can see or hear her, she comes to the conclusion that she must have died.

Alison watches over her family as they grow up and changes occur over the years. She finds that if she blinks or goes to sleep then she can jump in time: hours, days and even years pass by. Life is lonely for Alison; she often has one-sided conversations, until she meets Jeremy, another ghost; he talks about some of his theories of this limbo state that they are both in. They become friends, meeting up again at intervals through the proceeding years.

Sometimes Alison’s family ‘feel’ her presence, but they never actually communicate with her verbally. As the story progresses Alison finds that she returns at poignant family moments, until she finally gets the chance to move on towards the bright light.

I liked the paranormal element of this story and my favourite parts were when Alison and Jeremy met each time; in fact, I wished that the author had focused more on this aspect of the story. I was less keen on the heavy use of dialogue to move the story forward, particularly when there was a lot of information in the dialogue which made it sound unnatural. There were also parts where I would have liked to see the female characters given more feminine traits; they often came across rather masculine in mannerisms and speech.

As a modern ghost story this was okay, but it didn’t grab me as much as I had hoped that it would.

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Alison is thirty-six and life is good. She has a husband, who’s an English teacher at a local school and two young children, Claire who is nine and Martin six. And life would probably have continued to be good if she hadn’t died.Stuck in the limbo between life and whatever comes next, Alison watches over her family as they grow. Her death may have changed her, but it also changed the lives of her closest friend, Hayley, and her estranged mother – both vie to care for her children and husband. Alison hangs around for thirty-seven years. Sometimes laughing, sometimes fragile, occasionally frightened, often frustrated. She makes friends in this new after life and almost, but not quite, falls in love again.

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Life After Alison by [Bruce Aiken]