Author(s): Lent Jeffrey
In After You've Gone, a historical novel set in Nova Scotia, New York, and Amsterdam, Jeffrey Lent beautifully charts the sweep of a life and the discovery--and loss--of life-defining love. Henry Dorn has spent years building a family, but it only takes a single afternoon for it to fall apart. The woman with whom he fell in love in the first blush of youth, who has been his perfect mate through a lively young marriage ripened by the raising of three children, has been lost. The car wreck that killed her also took their son Robert, a veteran of the Great War whose bitterness and addiction to morphine had slowly been driving him and Henry apart. Restless, broken, questing but unsure for what, Henry buys a steamer ticket for Amsterdam, planning to research his family history and start life anew. But nothing could have prepared him for the young woman he meets on the ship: the fiery, self-sufficient Lydia Pearce, one of a new generation of women. At first Henry does not know what to make of Lydia but, before long, they have fallen into an affair of a depth and significance for which neither was prepared. And just as quickly as he was robbed of Olivia, Henry is faced with the gift of new possibilities--and the need to reconcile them with those already lost. From a hardscrabble Nova Scotia fishing town, to a women's college in New York, to a 1920s Europe alive with the unbuttoning of sexuality but scarred by war, After You've Gone is a gorgeous tale spanning several pivotal decades in American life, and an unforgettable portrait of one man and the extraordinary women he loved.