February Book Club: After Alice

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So its been a while since I did a book review. December’s book club meeting got moved to January and it was a book exchange so we didn’t read one particular book. After a suggestion from a fellow book club member, I picked “After Alice” by Gregory Maguire.

For those of you who don’t know Gregory Maguire, he’s the author of the book “Wicked” which was turned into the uber-popular musical “Wicked” (they changed a lot of things from the book to make it more palatable and PG-13). I had never read the book and was excited to see his take on Alice in Wonderland.

I’ll admit, I was put off by the first chapter. The style of prose was very old-fashioned, and, frankly, quite weird. Having read mostly modern style prose for the last 100 books I’ve read, it kind of threw me off that he was writing in this weird fashion. It took a while to adapt but I eventually managed to do it. The story was not from the point of view of any of the characters that were in the original Alice in Wonderland (at least not the version I’ve read), but from a few peripherally related yet original characters. Alice was never actually featured in the book, just talked about by other characters. They also had an interesting addition of a young boy from America who had been freed from slavery, and the current social attitudes towards him. I could have read an entire book based on this boy alone since his story seemed very interesting. The ending was very abrupt. I felt like it would perhaps have a sequel at some point and I hope it does because I really want to know what happens to him.

All in all, I think I would perhaps give the book a solid 7 for interest. Pacing needed some work but by the end of the book I was interested in knowing more, and that’s a good sign.

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