Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Just in time for the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, comes this novel After Alice from Gregory Maguire, (author of Wicked), who picks up the story after Alice falls down the proverbial rabbit hole. The title itself can be a bit misleading, because I had the notion it would be a sequel of sorts about what happened "after Alice" came back from Wonderland, but it is the story of Alice's best friend, Ada Boyce, who readers get a brief glimpse of in the original book. This is highlighted in the opening to this book where we find an excerpt from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland where Ada is mentioned.
This novel on the other hand is what happens when Ada follows Alice quite unfortunately in an attempt to find Alice, thus the fitting of the title "After Alice" comes into play. She wasn't intentionally looking for her, but was headed out exploring and trying to avoid her nanny of sorts, Mrs. Armstrong, whom Ada refers to as Mrs. Armstrong Headstrong, who has lost sight of Ada and fears the repercussions from Ada's father when she returns without her. Mrs. Armstrong doesn't know quite where Ada has run off and spends the length of the novel attempting to find her as the chapters toggle between Ada's adventures in trying to find Alice while she herself is lost in the many wonders in Wonderland, and Mrs. Armstrong's attempt to find her with little help from Lydia, Alice's older sister.
As Ada struggles to understand what is happening to her, we catch a sneak peek at some of our beloved characters from Wonderland like the Cheshire Cat, the Walrus and the Oysters, the talking roses and more as Wonderland rushes to make preparations for the Queen of Hearts garden party. Ada finds herself always a step behind where Alice has traveled and even finds herself accused of stealing a spoon from the Mad Hatter and March Hare when she sits down for tea, failing to realize she had the spoon in her pocket when she was in her home, trying to console her sickly baby brother.
I received After Alice by Gregory Maguire compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review aside from the free copy of the novel and the opinions contained here are my own personal ones. While I wished this book would have stayed focused on Wonderland, I found the alternating chapters involving Alice's sister Lydia a bit distracting from the story. It was like having two very different stories in one book but alternating them. It was not something I preferred, but did enjoy the those chapters in which Ada's exploration into the mysterious world of Wonderland come to life again. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and fans of Gregory Maguire's novels such as Wicked would love this one as well.
For more information about After Alice, Gregory Maguire or where you can preorder a copy of this novel which is released in October of 2015, please click on the links below:
You can find Gregory Maguire on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.
To read more reviews on After Alice, please visit William Morrow's website.
You can preorder a copy of this novel at Amazon.com.