LGBTQA+ · Reviews

“After Mrs Hamilton” by Clare Ashton

I am honestly at a loss for words. However, there’s so much to say about After Mrs Hamilton… I just don’t know where to start. I am in love with this book. I could honestly start re-reading it right now. Actually, I feel like I must. I was so eager to reach to end, to connect the dots, to understand what was going on… I feel like I might have rushed the reading. I now need to slow down and give Clare Ashton’s words their time because they deserve it.

Speaking of Clare’s words, her writing is exceptionally visual. As I wrote about That Certain Something, it truly feels like you are watching a film. Better yet, it feels like you are living the film. And this one in particular is absolutely stunning. Even though the writing is rather simplistic in terms of flair, I can feel the texture of Fran’s coat under my fingertips, I can smell her perfume, I can taste Clo’s mini treacle toffee puddings with sauce inside… Sigh. Incredible indeed. It’s as if her words made a pact to dress plainly alone and stand glamorously together. It’s… enchanting. For some reason it makes me think of melted chocolate.

You will perhaps not find me quoting from this book, but you will certainly find me talking about these characters. They are so strong in my mind. The portraits Clare Ashton painted of them don’t falter, not even for a moment. They truly exist and are incredibly human. And the way they all come together… Sigh. It’s quite an experience.

I read something interesting about the intricate events that take place in this book. Someone called them unbelievable coincidences. I believe it was meant as negative feedback, but to be honest it sounded to me more like a standing ovation. For isn’t unbelievable coincidence a term we use when something not expected happens and/or surprisingly works out? To be quite honest, I am in awe of how Clare Ashton made it all work out in the end. I think I would have gotten lost writing this novel.

After Mrs Hamilton has everything. There’s mystery, desire, there’s grief, there’s love… and they come together beautifully, leaving an imprint that I believe will last for quite some time.

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