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I was always looking for excitement, until I found some....
Summer, 1979: A dry, hot Northern California school vacation stretches before Rachel and her younger sister, Patty - the daughters of a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome (and chronically unfaithful) detective father and the mother whose heart he broke.
When we first meet her, Patty is 11 - a gangly kid who loves basketball and dogs and would do anything for her older sister, Rachel. Rachel is obsessed with making up stories and believes she possesses the gift of knowing what's in the minds of people around her. She has visions, whether she wants to or not. Left to their own devices, the sisters spend their days studying record jackets, concocting elaborate fantasies about the mysterious neighbor who moved in down the street, and playing dangerous games on the mountain that looms behind their house.
When young women start turning up dead on the mountain, the girls' father is put in charge of finding the murderer known as the "Sunset Strangler". Watching her father's life slowly unravel as months pass and more women are killed, Rachel embarks on her most dangerous game yet...using herself as bait to catch the killer. But rather than cracking the case, the consequences of Rachel's actions will destroy her father's career and alter forever the lives of everyone she loves.
Thirty years later, still haunted by the belief that the killer remains at large, Rachel constructs a new strategy to smoke out the Sunset Strangler and vindicate her father - a plan that unexpectedly unearths a long-buried family secret.
Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case that terrorized Marin County, California, in the late 1970s, After Her is part thriller, part love story. Maynard has created a poignant, suspenseful, and painfully real family saga that traces a young girl's first explorations of sexuality, the loss of innocence, the bond shared by sisters, and the tender but damaged relationship between a girl and her father that endures even beyond the grave.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Krista on 10-17-13
Wonderful to listen to, decent story
I enjoyed listening to this book. I especially liked that the author was the reader, which means she read it to me just the way it was written in her head (and her voice was amazing to listen to for that many hours). I also respect how Joyce Maynard develops her characters so fully. I will likely think of Patty every time I see a little girl playing basketball, and Detective Toricelli every time an officer gives a press conference, and I will carry with me the sadness of true love unfinished and broken homes and dreams not fulfilled for awhile. And have nightmares about killers and piano wire and shoestrings and rusted out trucks. The only downside was that there was some repetition due to the robust character development efforts, which sometimes really slowed down the story just when I was getting excited and anxious to know what was going to happen next. I'd have to listen, listen more...wait for it...wait for it... Overall, a decent listen from an accomplished writer.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
By tooonce72 on 09-21-13
Endearing and Heartbreaking Sister Bond
A wonderful sister story. These two California girls had what I would have died to have at their age – a tight sibling relationship, a fun dad who drove a hot car and open handed independence. Who would have known that with all that, they still didn’t have the world by a string?
Joyce Maynard writes a strong passionate novel that vividly describes sisters that barely survived the seventies. I gladly rode on their emotional rollercoaster with them through those crazy teenage thoughts, peer pressure and disappointing parents. Woven in is a very clever and captivating detective investigation that had this reader gasping aloud.
I greatly enjoyed After Her and highly recommend it. The summary is accurate. I could not put it away and was sneeking listens. When this book opened up and I realized that Joyce Maynard was narrating her own book I said out loud to myself, “Always a bad decision.” It wasn’t. By the end of this listen I was claiming it a perfect choice.
I'll be singing M M M MY Sharona for days.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful