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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

After She Wrote Him, Sulari Gentill: A Review

After She Wrote Him is truly, a one-of-a-kind reading experience. From the cover and the blurb, I was excited to dive in and see how Gentill tackled the admittedly meta premise. Maddie is a lawyer and a writer with an idea: a protagonist writing the writer as she writes the protagonist. Ned is a writer, the protagonist, who has a crisp idea of a lawyer trying to write a protagonist, himself. The further into the narrative they go, however, the more blurred the lines between fiction and reality become.


I think what I enjoyed most about After She Wrote Him was the constant feeling of unease. Is Maddie writing Ned? Is she a figment of his imagination, a character in his book? Is there something paranormal at play? Has she somehow conjured this character to life? Indeed, Maddie's experience with Ned breathed life into him, poking the flames of uncertainty. At times, I didn't know what the A storyline was. I loved the quiet moments where Maddie was introspective, plotting her story through imaginary discussions with Ned. As a writer, I don't think I've ever gotten this deep into my characters, and it was interesting to see someone else's writing process through this experimental narrative structure.

I found this book to be intriguing and interesting, but I'm not sure it would be for everyone. I appreciated the discourse and jargon of the writing world, the ins and outs of publishing, agent deadlines and advances, and selling points--the conflict between writing what sells/is marketable versus writing the story that demands to be told. However, I'm not sure someone outside the sphere would enjoy this as much, as it was a bulk of the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing an eARC in exchange for review consideration.


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