When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.
She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.
Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.
But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.
A gift called iRachel.
The After Wife was published on the 22nd March 2018 by Trapeze. Many thanks to the publisher and to Tracey Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me onto this tour and for my copy of the book via NetGalley.
The After Wife is a beautiful, moving and heart-warming story of a husband and daughter left behind after their wife/mother is suddenly taken from them. Warning…this book will tug at your heartstrings and will most probably make you cry!
Rachel is a highly intelligent scientist with a huge passion for her career – she is also deeply in love with her husband Aidan and adores their daughter, Chloe. One evening, Rachel is cruelly taken from them with no warning, leaving Aidan and Chloe having to work out what their future holds now. Rachel and Aidan were supposed to be forever, yet he finds himself as a young widower, parenting their daughter alone. Whilst they are trying to each deal with their loss and grief, they are introduced to Rachel’s gift from beyond the grave. Up to her death, she was working on a human-like robot that could learn emotions in others and respond to them accordingly. The idea being that she could help the elderly and act as a carer. This robot is iRachel and she has very cleverly orchestrated that iRachel is to live with Aidan and Chloe to support her learning and interactions with humans.
I’ll be honest, if I’d have released from the blurb that iRachel was a robot, I would have probably been put off from reading The After Wife therefore I am so pleased that I didn’t know as I would have missed out on an amazing and clever book!
Hunter has created a fantastic cast of characters, all of which are well-developed resulting in the reader bonding with each of them. Aidan is a devoted husband and father but falls to pieces when he finds himself facing a future that was so not the plan. Chloe is struggling not only with her own loss but also Aidan’s and is also unsettled by what their new normal will be. But for me the star of the book is iRachel. Through this book we go on iRachel’s journey with her – the chapter’s told from Rachel’s perspective are brilliant. The prose is completely different to those from the human’s therefore you are in no doubt as to who is speaking.
The After Wife is a wonderful story of loss and finding hope again after bereavement. It is also very clever, the parts about iRachel and her development come across as very authentic. I recommend this to anyone who just likes a good story! Don’t be put off by the robot element if this isn’t usually your thing as this book is such a great read with a brilliant moral to the story! If AI is your thing, then you will LOVE this 🙂
Cass Hunter was born in South Africa and moved to the UK in 2000. She lives in North London with her husband and two sons. She is an avid lifelong learner, and works at a London university. Cass Hunter is the pen name of Rosie Fiore, whose novels include After Isabella, What She Left, Babies in Waiting and Wonder Women.