Young parents Max and Pip must make an impossible decision when their three-year-old son's brain tumor damages his brain beyond repair. He can no longer walk, talk, or communicate, and there will be no change. When the two don't agree on what to do, the court must decide.
The premise of this book reminded me a bit of some Jodi Picoult books, especially My Sister's Keeper. Though the stories are quite different, they have in common the sick children and intervening courts. I think many readers were let down by the ending of My Sister's Keeper, and that is always a risk with these types of books. This book, I felt, handled the situation exactly right. It takes a Sliding Doors approach to the story, and tells what would happen with either outcome. I think most of us want a clean answer: which is the right decision? Mackintosh proves it's more complicated than that.
This was an excellent read--knocked down maybe half a star from five for the effort I had to put into keeping track of the two storylines, but that's minor. The characters are sympathetic and the story is relatable (especially knowing that Mackintosh went through something similar herself). It goes without saying that it is sad, so be prepared.
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From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh, a deeply moving and page-turning novel about an impossible choice—and the two paths fate could take.
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.
What if they could have both?
A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.