Welcome to my stop on Gillian Poucher’s After The Funeral blog tour with RedDoor Publishing!
I am the last stop on this tour, but please do check out the previous posts by these awesome book bloggers…..
Many thanks to Anna & Julia @ RedDoor Publishing
I found myself completely captivated by After The Funeral from the very beginning.
We meet 49 year old Julia at a very sad time in her life, the funeral of her mother, Emily. When she meets a stranger attending the funeral claiming to know her and hinting at a family secret, Julia is understandably disturbed, but intrigued. Who is this Linda who claims to have spent time with her mother, but who her mother has never mentioned?
I have to say that for the most part of this book I couldn’t make my mind up if I liked Julia or not. At times she comes across as quite standoffish and a bit self-important, but she is struggling with her grief and the recent break of a relationship, all of which affects her ability to do her job as a counsellor effectively. This, of course, has a knock on effect on her finances, another cause of stress which leads to her returning to her work sooner than she really should have. Her new client, Grace proves that she isn’t really well enough to counsel effectively, but she really needs the money and Grace has her more than little bit intrigued.
When Linda turns up at Julia’s Aunt Ada’s 80th Birthday celebration, seemingly drunk and just there to cause trouble, the suspense is revved up a notch and I was desperate to discover Linda’s story and her connection to the family. It is obvious that Aunt Ada knows something about her, but she takes her secret with her to her grave.
When Julia’s supervisor insists she takes some time off and go away for a few days, I love that Julia goes to Walsingham. I know Walsingham well. I have been there on pilgrimage many times in the past few years, but unfortunately didn’t go last year with our church group. My friend, Gayle, and I are looking at going sometime in November this year, all being well. Anyway, it’s such a beautiful place in such a lovely part of the country and I loved that I could picture where Julia was whilst she was there.
When Julia meets Linda once again and she hands her a diary of her mothers which was missing from her house, she knows she is finally going to discover the truth. That truth is quite heart-breaking and this is when I really warmed Julia. Reading Emily’s diary entry reveals the secret everyone had been keeping for all those years and my heart wept for Emily. I don’t want to say any more for fear of spoiling it for anyone, but needless to say it has been a compelling read.
It is such an emotional story full of secrets, love and devastating loss. It has, however, hope for a brighter future with long lost family and new relationships.
It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. I highly recommend and will be looking forward to future books by Gillian Poucher.
Many thanks to Anna and Julia at RedDoor publishing for my review copy.
You don’t know me
But I know you…
When a stranger approaches Julia Butler at her mother’s funeral and hints at a disturbing family secret, her life is turned upside down.
Who is this woman and how does she know so much about Julia’s life?
Grief-stricken, Julia finds her well-ordered life unravelling and her relationships in turmoil. As the mystery around the stranger deepens, she must not only make peace with those around her, but with the ghosts from her past to find hope for the future.
After the Funeral is a gripping debut novel which explores the complex relationships between three generations of women with sensitivity and compassion.
happy reading 🙂