Today I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The After Wife by Cass Hunter as part of the blog tour.
About this book…
When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.
She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.
Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.
But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.
A gift called iRachel.
This is a rather unique book, unlike anything else I have read recently! Although I’ve seen a similar theme used in films such as AI, I’ve never actually come across it’s use in this genre before! But I’m always up for a challenge and was incredibly intrigued by the blurb so got stuck in straightaway!
A warning for the emotional among you that you may need tissues pretty much from the start of this. Rachel is living a perfect life with her husband and daughter until an accident takes her away from them. But Rachel had a little trick up her sleeve to provide comfort to her devastated family-the gift of iRachel. This cleverly designed artificial intelligence experiment has been a closely guarded secret by brilliant scientist Rachel and she is about to use all the information left to her to comfort the two people that Rachel loved the most.
It was incredibly easy to become involved in the lives of those that Rachel had left behind. Seeing the effects of Rachel’s loss from multiple points of view I was able to see how they coped with their bereavement, each needing different things from iRachel. I connected more with Chloe as I felt her loss the most due to her age. Teenage girls always think they don’t need their mums anymore but it’s probably the time they need them the most-teenage girls can be vicious!! Chloe’s relationship with her peers started to unravel at a time she really needed the support of her mother. Would iRachel be able to support Chloe as a real mother would? Would it be easier if she had all the empathy of a true parent or not?
This is quite an emotional storyline despite the rather unusual scientific plot. I found myself holding my breath, unable to contemplate how the author would bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion i.e. One that I was happy with!!! iRachel was a wonderful character and I wanted her to become “a real person” with real feelings and emotions so she could experience life to the fullest potential and not be restricted by her own capabilities.
The After Wife was a heartbreaking tale of loss, acceptance and finding the courage to move forward and to keep on living. If I had one tiny little quibble about the plot, I have to say that I would have found the creation of iRachels personality and endeavour would have had more meaning and a greater significance if Rachel had definitely known she was going to die so young instead of the way she actually died. Just a minor point but I felt it would have made her programming of iRachel more pertinent. But this didn’t detract from this wonderful exploration of what it is to be alive and that although we have our differences, we share a common humanity that is hard to ignore.
A lovely book that means I will look out for more by this author in the future.