Today Ellen is reviewing The After Wife by Cass Hunter as part of the blog tour, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all further down!
About the author:
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.
About the book:
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.
I read this book a few weeks ago and am still thinking about it and if that’s not an endorsement for this beautiful book I don’t know what is. The After Wife appealed to my Sci-Fi nerd brain primarily but soon had me caught up in everything else that it is about. Love, loss, what makes us human and dealing with grief, it’s all there.
Rachel and Aidan have the perfect life; the only issue would be that Rachel’s career comes first and she has sacrificed a lot of time with Aidan and their daughter Chloe pursuing her dream. After her death it becomes clear what this dream was, she (with her lab partner Luke) has created iRachel a prototype of a human android. The only problem…this android is the double of Rachel. Suddenly after the shocking passing of his wife Aidan ends up taking iRachel home (Rachel employs a little emotional blackmail from the grave here) so that it/her emotional development can be studied in a home environment. Now, I had to ask myself how I would feel. I’m a similar age to Rachel with a 15 year old daughter; would this robot be a help emotionally or an awful daily reminder of what was missing? This is explored wonderfully throughout the novel and we ride the rollercoaster of emotions that Aidan and Chloe experience.
I’m a huge fan of the TV series Black Mirror/Humans/Westworld and the idea that a synthetic being could develop emotionally. How would they be treated in the real world? A slave? A monster? What sets us apart and makes us human; isn’t it life and experiences? The After Wife may not be set in a time that long from now. Recently AI intelligence mastered a board game that we have played for thousands of years and within three days had mastered the game and created moves that humans had not discovered. AI is being used now in the medical industry to solve scientific problems we have been unable to. Okay – so it’s a long way from creating a domestic android but when you look at how fast this things are progressing? It certainly makes you think!
You can probably tell that I adored this book and really invested a lot of my emotions into it, I probably won’t cry again for a while, my heart of stone has been bled dry. I recently re-read a few pages to refresh my memory for this review and my lip wobbled. Go buy it, and plenty of tissues – it’s the perfect read to get lost in! All the stars (and tears) to The After Wife.
Check out the tour: