After Story by Larissa Behrendt

After Story by Larissa Behrendt

After Story by Larissa Behrendt is an intergenerational tale of love, loss and family. Set against the backdrop of England’s most revered literary sites, the story alternates between the perspectives of mother, Della, and daughter, Jasmine. Cleverly written and aggressively original, Behrendt celebrates the power of words,both written and oral. Packed with nuance, she uses the spotlight on English literature to highlight the value of stories, even though not all stories are treated equally. Above all, she reminds us that sometimes the best way to find home is to leave it and find yourself first.

I read After Story in a single sitting, captivated not only by the messy exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, but also fascinated by the journey itself, aided by Behrendt’s meticulous attention to historical detail. In a time when travelling cannot be taken for granted, After Story reminded me of what it’s like to explore a new country and tour foreign cities. But despite the distant setting, the book weaves through constant references to Australia’s own rich and ancient cultural history—far older than anything England has to offer. I finished After Story with a sense of hope, as well as the need to immediately find and read all of Larissa Behrendt’s other work.

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