After Annie deals with a family's life after the death of their wife/mom/best friend, Annie is brought to life over and over again when she is talked about and memories or photos are shared. Have some tissues handy since I think you'll need them.

4.5-STAR REVIEW: AFTER ANNIE by Anna Quindlen

The Description

Publication Date: February 27, 2024

When Annie Brown dies suddenly, her husband, her children, and her closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Bill is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, and Annemarie wrestles with the bad habits her best friend had helped her overcome. And Ali, the eldest of Annie’s children, has to grow up overnight, to care for her younger brothers and even her father and to puzzle out for herself many of the mysteries of adult life.

Over the course of the next year what saves them all is Annie, ever-present in their minds, loving but not sentimental, caring but nobody’s fool, a voice in their heads that is funny and sharp and remarkably clear. The power she has given to those who loved her is the power to go on without her. The lesson they learn is that no one beloved is ever truly gone.

Written in Quindlen’s emotionally resonant voice and with her deep and generous understanding of people, After Annie is about hope, and about the unexpected power of adversity to change us in profound and indelible ways.

The Review

After Annie by Anna Quindlen was a wonderfully written women’s fiction filled with myriad emotions. Some challenging and touchy subjects were handled beautifully by the author as, at times, I had tears in my eyes or rolling down my cheeks. So many stories were interweaved throughout— even with Annie gone—what she would have said or done is at the forefront.

The married mother of four children dies suddenly in her thirties and doesn’t get everything out of life that she wants. But she does have her husband, the love of her life, four children she’s proud of, a job at a nursing home where she cares for others, and they care about her and her best friend, Annemarie, and they’ve always been there for each other.

The story drew me in from the beginning, and the characters came to life and had depth. Ali, the oldest, grew up before her time, but luckily her school psychologist was there for her when her father and her friend, Jenny, weren’t. Annemarie tried to fill in the void but unfortunately she fell back into bad habits without Annie being a part of her life and had enough to do to keep her own life on track.

There are twists and turns to the story, and I didn’t like Bill after the death of his wife, nor how some seemed to take advantage of him. Grief is one thing, but it seemed like he sometimes forgot he had four kids or tried hard to forget. He also appeared to want to move on just a few months after her death. When he finally got his act together, after talking to the school psychologist, it seemed like he became a better person and tried to put his family first. He finally took some of the burden off Ali, who needed to be a kid again and not a caregiver for her entire family. Annie would have been proud of his turnaround. Bill’s mother was not a caring soul at all, and she sucked the life out of everyone around her. None more so than Annie when she was alive.

There are some tender moments, but also a lot of anger, angst, hurt, sadness, tears, grief, and even regrets. It’s a story of family and friendships and the need to have someone to turn to and talk to. The story was realistic, but how much can one family handle? There is some closure, but the story ends abruptly. Until I turned the last page on my Kindle, I hadn’t realized I was at the end. I liked the celebrations of Annie’s life and how people came together.

After Annie deals with a family’s life after the death of their wife/mom/best friend, Annie is brought to life over and over again when she is talked about and memories or photos are shared. Have some tissues handy since I think you’ll need them.Buy Links

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About The AuthorAnna Quindlen is the author of many bestselling books, including the #1 New York Times bestselling novel Rise and Shine, the #1 bestselling memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cakeand A Short Guide to a Happy LifeHer other novels include Blessings, One True Thingthe Oprah Book Club Selection Black and Blueand Still Life with Bread Crumbs.



JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for - and which is on hiatus. Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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After Annie deals with a family's life after the death of their wife/mom/best friend, Annie is brought to life over and over again when she is talked about and memories or photos are shared. Have some tissues handy since I think you'll need them.4.5-STAR REVIEW: AFTER ANNIE by Anna Quindlen