Life itself is weird as it is. It is filled with twists and turns that drastically change the course of our paths. One small step and could affect our future on a grandeur scale. That is why, even if we are already a testament to life's greatest yet peculiar machinery, we still enjoy reading about it in books and movies. We are enticed by the storytellers' way of maneuvering the strings for their characters. The struggles they burden them, or the luck they grant upon them. It makes us feel like we are examining tiny people under a microscope, judging, and overall feeling the choices they make as they go through life paved by their writer—their maker.
In Carolyn Anne McMahon's book "To Follow a Life After," we get to experience life in a more surrealistic way. Something unlike what we experience on a daily basis. The story follows two brothers on a hunt to track down the truth about their father's passing. As they go along their precarious journey into the unknown, they will encounter a series of events that are filled with love, wisdom, darkness, and, of course, mystery. It talks about the surreal nature of life, its unfathomable truths, and lies, as well as the importance of what it means to be family.
McMahon captures all these adventures in the book. It is riveting, a mixture of fiction and non-fiction that grips your interest until you are down to the last page, well-aware of all the pieces that made up the whole conflict of the story. It is effective for you to dive—nay! Get lost into. She makes use of words to captivate the readers into solving the unsolved case the brothers must venture forth in order to find answers. It makes you wonder more; then, it gradually uncovers the truth through the outcome of their decisions. Little by little, the words affect you in ways one can find interest in.
Because of how in touch McMahon is when it comes to family values, she paints the emotion of familial love and disputes perfectly clear in "To Follow a Life After." It is laid out so accurately that all you have to do is empathize with the characters, pick them into pieces, see their individualities and learn from the things they did and did not do. She brings them to life in such a vivid way that it is hard not to care for them or even see yourself in them. Their every move may be reminiscent of what you have done in the past or will do in the future.
"To Follow a Life After" is a book worth your time and space on your shelves. McMahon has said in an interview, "There is no happiness at such tragedy and mystery, loss and deceit, but there is peace in achieving a purpose."
McMahon wants you to experience not only the darkness that our characters will face but also the calm after the tragedy. The peace will bring not only to your mind but also to your heart.