Julie Buxbaum's sophomore novel After You proved to be another enjoyable read for me. This is a title I purchased as soon as it came out last year, and am just now reading for the Read From Your Shelves Challenge, at the same time it is coming out in paperback.
Ellie and Lucy are best friends who grew up together. While they live far apart- Ellie in the US and Lucy in London, the two remain as close as sisters, and Ellie is a godmother to Sophie, Lucy's eight year old daughter. However, Lucy's storybook life (beautiful daughter, million dollar home, handsome husband) comes to an abrupt end when she is killed while walking her daughter to school. Ellie leaves her life behind (easier than dealing with the marital problems she and Philip have been having after losing their stillborn son Oliver) and camps out in London, helping Sophie through the aftermath of her mother's death. What Ellie didn't count on is the fact that there are certain things about Lucy she never knew and that even her best friend had a few secrets.
This book was such a fast read, instantly grabbing me from the beginning. Ellie is a likeable character, showing her human side with her inability to cope with losses in her own life and relate to her husband, who is also grieving Oliver's death. I also enjoyed how Buxbaum used the children's book The Secret Garden as a read aloud for Sophie and Ellie as they started to cope with the loss of Lucy. (I am guilty of never having read the book myself, but have now added it to my summer reading list). This is another one that I have waited way too long to enjoy, but am glad I made the time for. Another entertaining women's fiction title.