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After I Left You [Kindle Edition]

Alison Mercer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

Every broken heart has a history.

Anna hasn't been back to Oxford since her last summer at university. She tries not to think about her time there, or the tightly knit group of friends she once thought would be hers forever. She has almost forgotten the sting of betrayal, the secret she carries around, the last night she spent with them all.

Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her present. . . Can Anna finally face up to the memories of that summer and the people she left behind?

An absorbing, powerful novel of love, friendship and secrets that sweeps you away from the very first page. The perfect read for fans of Lisa Jewell, Liane Moriarty and Jane Fallon.

Product Description


"Beautifully written and full of intelligent, emotional and interesting characters . . . will stay with you long after you finish the final captivating chapter" (Daily Mail)

"A wonderfully romantic read that'll have you hooked from the offset" (OK!)

"Alison Mercer has expertly spun an engrossing story about love, secrets and second chances." (Tamar Cohen, author of The Mistress's Revenge)

"A tender and romantic story of love and friendship, elegant and engrossing, beautifully told" (Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The Secrets Between Us)

"A lovely absorbing read, so evocative of student life. Alison Mercer really captures the passion of falling in love for the first time." (Alice Peterson, author of Monday to Friday Man)

Book Description

What happens when your past catches up with you? An evocative read for fans of Lisa Jewell and Liane Moriarty.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1235 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552778192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552778190
  • ASIN: B00FM12KHI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alison Mercer lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, the poet Ian Pindar, and their two children. Their son was diagnosed with autism in 2011, about a month after she landed her first book deal.
Alison was born in Reading in 1973 and first tried writing a novel at primary school. She went on to study English at University College, Oxford and did a diploma in journalism at Cardiff University. She worked as a reporter at The Stage and was a features writer at the WI magazine, where she witnessed the birth of the nude calendar phenomenon.
She began work on her first published novel, Stop the Clock, after starting a family, and wrote the first draft in monthly instalments for a fellow working mother. Alison's new novel, After I Left You, was inspired by 90s nostalgia, going back to the place she lived in when she was younger and never quite having outgrown her inner twentysomething.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally gripping! 27 Mar. 2014
By Petal
Format:Kindle Edition
When Anna bumps into Victor, an old flame from her Oxford University years, the past she has tried hard to forget begins to catch up with her. Betrayed by her best friends, carrying heartache and secrets, she faces up to the past as she attempts to shape her future.

I loved this story from the first chapter. Anna and her companions felt like friends, people you would know or could imagine knowing, they were portrayed so realistically. The setting of Oxford was also wonderfully descriptive. Each character was well written, flaws and all, but Clarissa and Keith really stood out. Clarissa for her bold, brash,'I'll take what I want' nature, and Keith for his sensitively portrayed depression. I have to say his revelation towards the end surprised me as well, it wasn't the twist I was expecting!

At the heart of the story is Anna and Victor's romance, wonderfully paced, it kept me on tenterhooks wondering if they would have an opportunity to get back together. Much more than chick-lit, this was a thoroughly gripping story with romance at it's core.

*I was sent a free copy of this book by the publishers in return for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belonging & Betrayal 31 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fortunately St. Bart’s College, Oxford, is fictitious because when you’ve finished this book you’ll know Anna & her undergraduate friends so well that you’d likely make a fool of yourself by showing up @ the porter’s lodge & having a fit when you weren’t recognised as a member of the college. The novel feels that it reads very slowly (tho’ it really doesn’t) but the effect is to draw us readers in so far we think we were characters too. Perhaps not one of Anna’s close friends but easily one of the many minor characters who fill out & give substance to After I Left You, like Violet or Mark.

As in a Greek tragedy, the cast is quite limited. The principal characters are the freshers Clarissa, Keith, Meg & Anna, who narrates the book. They matriculate in Michaelmas Term of 1991. They are taken up by Victor, who with his roommate & henchman Barnaby, is already in his second yea. But Anna tells the story looking backward from 2010. Since she came down, she’s been completely estranged & totally out of touch with her former Oxford friends. In accord with the myths that make this novel resonate in the unconscious, the tragic ending of the first part & the bittersweet new beginning of the second occur @ a festive end-or-term college ball & @ a much-delayed wedding

Not that it is by any means a flawless book. The entire subplot involving Anna’s biological father is full of loose ends, with Anna waiting till she’s almost 40 to find him is an end so loose it’s like a halliard flailing from the masthead. For purely medical reasons Anna should have insisted on knowing @ least by 18. (He has health problems a prudent offspring would want to know about, altho’ the author doesn’t seem to notice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and insightful 22 May 2014
By Lisa-W
Format:Kindle Edition
Soaking wet with dripping hair and carrying a gruesome bridesmaid’s dress is not how Anna would have anticipated bumping into her ex – if she’d thought about bumping into him at all after seventeen years. But that’s exactly how Anna comes face to face with the love of her life, the one who hurt her so badly and how she once again connects with old friends from University.
After three years at an Oxford college, when Anna has been part of the ‘cool’ group and fallen in love, things end badly and she hopes she never sees any of that group again but seventeen years later when she has bumped into Victor, her curiosity piques her into contacting her old friend Meg, another of the group and her memories are reawakened. As Anna remembers events the reader is taken back to her Anna’s time at University, a time of first loves, friendships that should have lasted forever, hopes and dreams that were shattered for Anna by a sequence of events that last evening of the Ball.
Although I never attended university myself, I can quite easily imagine how it would have been from Anna’s story. The wanting to fit in somewhere, to find out who you are and to belong. To find love and lasting friendships. Anna’s Uni days were filled with hopes, laughter, friendships and fun until that fateful evening that affected the rest of her life, yet the confusion, the angst, the worries are also there in her group of friends; people from different backgrounds sharing a new and privileged life, learning the ways of the world. The telling of Anna’s story is realistic and engaging, something that every reader will be able to relate to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A riveting novel about love and friendship 12 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Anna hasn't seen the friends from her days at Oxford since graduating from university nearly two decades before. She has tried her hardest to put that part of her life behind her but when she bumps into old flame Victor, lingering feelings instantly bubble up and the past she so desperately tried to forget about comes tumbling back and crashing into the rather dull but safe life she has build for herself. The unexpected meeting and the emotional impact it has on her leave her with no other choice than to finally face that which made her run away from her old life in the first place.

Through flashbacks and the reconnection of Anna to some of her old friends, author Alison Mercer weaves an intricate web of intrigue and secrets which has the reader gripped from the moment they venture into Anna's past. Even though the major event alluded to throughout the novel was one I saw coming from the very first moment it was mentioned on the page, there were still plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat. One in particular took me by surprise but certainly explained Anna's more than hesitant attitude towards one of the people she cut off contact with.

The close knit friends made for an unusual group of people to bond so quickly and so intensely, yet their inseparability also made perfect sense. On their own feet for the first time in their young lives they needed each other to lean on and to make sense of the harder parts of growing up and being independent. This in particular made it so profound that Anna cut all ties straight after graduation and it meant that nearly twenty years later she was still struggling to find her own place in the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy and Romance Among the Dreaming Spires
Anna Jones's time at Oxford was a happy one. She loved her English course, and was part of a small, very close group of friends - mysterious, gentle Keith (her best friend),... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kate Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book many thanks
Published 5 months ago by T P ODONALD
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
It was okay
Published 6 months ago by Debster
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one to leave alone!
I thoroughly enjoyed Alison Mercer's debut novel Stop the Clock last year, it was a fresh voice in women's fiction, and I knew Alison would certainly be one to watch for future... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe"
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another page turner - unputadownable
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Rhoda Aubrey
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed..
A chance encounter with a friend from university causes Anna to reflect on the life she has been living in the intervening years. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jaffareadstoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed this book very much
Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars After I Left You
Anna, at a crossroads in her life, bumps into Victor a friend from her university days at Oxford. He wants her to stay in touch with the group of friends they had at University... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Damaskcat
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect read for me.
This was an absolutely wonderful and evocative novel, just the type of story I love to read where an old incident shadows a new life and over the course of the tale we find out... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Liz Wilkins
4.0 out of 5 stars A well told story with unexpected 'secret'
Anna has not been back to Oxford since her last summer at university, seventeen years ago ... Then a chance meeting on a rainy day in London brings her past tumbling back into her... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jill's Book Cafe
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