Review of The Life That Follows

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Helen Akoth
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Review of The Life That Follows

Post by Helen Akoth »

[Following is an official review of "The Life That Follows" by David Hartshorn.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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The Life That Follows is a novel by David Hartshorn. It follows the post-retirement life of a 63-year-old former attorney, Owen, who is also recently widowed. Grieving and lonely, he now fills his time by raising his dog, hanging out with his longtime friends, and volunteering to chauffeur needy patients to their medical appointments. However, deep down in his heart, Owen still harbors great grief and agony over his wife's sudden death—he hasn't moved on yet and misses her dearly. Something different crops up, though. A few years ago, while shopping for his drinks, he witnessed a deadly shootout, where an allegedly innocent boy was shot by a police officer and succumbed to the bullet wound. As the only person who saw the whole incident, he was asked to be a witness, to which he agreed. His testimony is important, as it will greatly influence the final verdict. How will it be?

There were several things I liked about this book. This novel has different subplots, and first, I liked that they were well-arranged. At each juncture, there was a mission to be achieved, and this kept me glued as I waited to uncover how the events would play out. Most of the events were unexpected, cleverly arranged, and designed to help Owen better his formerly grief-stricken life and those of people who were in similar situations. Second, I liked the camaraderie between Owen and his friends. I looked forward to their lively banter and traditions, which proved to be handy, not on one but several occasions. Third, I liked how well the author developed and portrayed the characters. They were diverse and distinct in terms of personalities, for instance, dialogue styles, making them relatable. And lastly, I liked the ending. It was satisfactorily done, tying the loose ends. No significant question was left unanswered.

What I liked most about this book were the themes it touched on and the several life lessons it contained. The central theme is grief, and we follow the protagonist's life as he tries to move from a past loss or trauma. Owen's journey is similar to those of other characters in the story, and the novel contains several life lessons by the characters concerning healing after loss. As life traumas are inevitable, readers will have a lot to learn from their experiences.

Overall, I didn't find anything to dislike about this book. Errors were hard to come by, and I found only a few minor ones, making me believe it was professionally edited. Therefore, I am glad to give The Life That Follows by David Hartshorn a perfect score of five out of five stars. This well-executed novel is laden with several life lessons and will make readers reflect on their lives.

I highly recommend this book to fans of well-written novels full of life lessons. Readers who like stories involving courthouse sessions will also appreciate it. I immensely enjoyed this book and couldn't think of anything to make me caution anyone against it. I am glad I discovered David Hartshorn, and I look forward to reading more of his books.

The Life That Follows
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Chris Agbara
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Post by Chris Agbara »

Thank you for this insightful review. You have highlighted the aspects of the book that make it a compelling read. I especially appreciate how you discussed the themes and life lessons that the book offers. I am interested in learning how Owen and the other characters cope with their grief and trauma. I will definitely get a copy of The Life That Follows.
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Mary Lou Mills
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Post by Mary Lou Mills »

A very nice review. You gave us a lot to ponder without giving any spoilers.
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Hazel Mae Bagarinao
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Post by Hazel Mae Bagarinao »

I felt pity for the boy. I hope he will be given justice by Owen's testimony. I like the book's narrative and the life lessons it brings. Thank you for your lovely review, Helen.
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Post by Aswin3848 »

The review was pretty detailed and insightful. Owen and his life is a subject that should definitely read. Further, as mentioned, perfectly planted sub-plots help in moving the strory forward.
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