After You Left by Carol Mason Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of After You Left

Plot Summary Part 1


A woman named Alice learns that her husband Justin has suddenly abandoned her in the middle of their honeymoon. At this point, not knowing anything else about the story, can you guess why?

  1. A) Justin was kidnapped by secret agents and taken to Russia.

  2. B) Justin thought it would be an opportune time to enlist in the Navy.

  3. C) Justin fell on the street, got amnesia, and forgot who he was married to.

or maybe........

  1. D) Justin found another woman he likes to bone even better.

If your answer was "D", then you have already correctly guessed this entire story from page 1, exactly as I did. That's how predictable this novel was, only it will be 150 pages before we slowly get to this fact we already know.

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Throughout the book, Alice makes reference over and over to a painting called "Christina's World." The painting shows a crippled woman lying on the ground staring at an empty barn in the distance. The painting is supposed to show how noble the crippled woman was, but really shows how unhappy and f'ed up her life is. Over and over throughout the book Alice returns to discussions of this painting, to tell the reader how messed up her life is as well.

Alice meets an old lady named Evelyn. Evelyn tells Alice about how she destroyed the life of a man named  Eddie. Evelyn met Eddie in the 1960's at the wedding of a friend. She agreed to go on a date with him but never did, moving to London. But Eddie was in love with her. In love with a woman he just met.

How ridiculous is that?

One can be infatuated with a person one sees once. But in love? Totally unbelievable.

Back in the present, Alice, for like the 50th time, talks about how much she relates to the painting "Christina's World". Ever since her husband dumped her she feels like crippled Christina. Ok, ok, we get it, now stop talking about that painting over and over! But she keeps talking about it throughout the book, in case the reader did not properly understand the theme the first ten times Alice talked about it.

Evelyn flashes back in time to 20 years after she had first met Eddie, when he came around to her mother's house ostensibly to work as a gardener but actually to get close to Evelyn. Eddie has a wife and child now but would eagerly give them up to be with Evelyn, a woman he never went on a single date with.

This makes absolutely no sense.

Eddie tells Evelyn that he doesn't enjoy boning his wife. He wants to bone her, even though he has perhaps seen her only once before.  Evelyn tells Eddie that her husband bores her too.

Evelyn tells Eddie that this is wrong, that she can't have a relationship with him because it would mean she cheating on her husband and Eddie cheating on his wife.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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