In Ms. Gentill’s clever construction, both characters inhabit a world in which reality and make-believe blur and blend ... careens toward a fateful culmination as Maddie and Edward write each other into personal limbos that, it seems, will prevent them from saving one another. Readers are left to their own devices to escape from this infinity of mirrors.
While the concept behind this novel is fascinating, I found it challenging at times to keep straight which reality the reader was inhabiting: Edward’s or Madeleine’s. It changes frequently, often from paragraph to paragraph, which may be intended as a device to allow the reader to experience Madeleine’s plight. Psychologically, it twists the brain time and time again. Plus, there’s the bonus of a murder mystery to solve. All in all, After She Wrote Him satisfies on many levels.
This unconventional mystery is an open-ended puzzle that asks the reader to determine who is the writer and who is the character. What is reality? ... a twisted masterpiece about writing and the loss of identity while writing. The disturbing examination of obsession and loss will appeal to readers of literary novels and introspective books about the writing process.