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Find out what happens After Alice
October 25, 2015
After Alice by Gregory Maguire Pub Date: October 27, 2015
Down the rabbit-hole, where adventures await . . .
When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?
In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.
Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts—droll and imperious as always—interrupt their mad tea party to suggest a conundrum: If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or if Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. In any case, everything that happens next is After Alice.
After Alice is a novel that is slow to draw the reader in, but rewards the patient. I have not read any of Gregory Maguire's previous novels, so I did not know what to expect.
The two central characters are Alice's sister and her friend Ada. Ada is not your normal heroine. She wears an extensive brace to help her walk upright and has mobility and health issues. Still, she is forthright and loyal to her best friend Alice. While Alice is steeped in fancy, Ada is practical and down-to-earth. When she follows Alice down the rabbit hole, Ada becomes certain that Alice will need rescuing. What follows is her own unique journey through Wonderland, along with encounters with many of its memorable characters.
At the same time, Alice's sister is searching for Alice. Navigating the time between childhood and adulthood is not easy. It's fraught with frustrations, not the least of which is being responsible for her younger sister. Adolescence is a time of responsibility without authority.
Meanwhile the adults, with the exception of Ada's governess, are all occupied with their own activities, and the quirks of children lie on the periphery.
As with Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Maguire's depiction of Wonderland is fraught with fancy, colored by a child's perception of the inconsistencies in adult conversation and concepts. Childhood is a unique time where imagination can give anyone wings, and disability is only what you make of it. Limitations are an adult concept that has little place in the inner world of children such as Alice and Ada.
After Alice is a unique book that will appeal most to fans of the Wonderland novels and Gregory Maguire.
After Alice is available for preorder and will be released October 27, 2015.
I received a copy of After Alice from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Find out what happens After Alice http://muttcafe.com/2015/10/after-alice/