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.
Author: Gregory Maguire
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings
Release Date: 27th October 2015
No. Pages: 256
Buy at: BookDepository
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. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next isAfter Alice
I really wish I’d read the Alice in Wonderland before I’d read this, so I could compare the original wonderland to Maguire’s version of it.
After Alice follows Ada, who also falls down the rabbit hole and spends the rest of the novel in pursuit of her friend. Unfortunately, I’m still not sure what Ada’s purpose was. Her adventures through wonderland were not entertaining and the story didn’t seem to go anywhere. Usually, when a character is added in a re-imagining of another story, I would expect that character to have a major impact on the world/story but honestly Ada made no impact.
Unlike what the synopsis tries to tell you, After Alice does not focus soley on Ada. It also follows Lydia, Alice’s older sister, and Ada’s governess. This story line was even more lackluster than Ada’s. I didn’t care about either of the characters and Lydia’s lack of interest in her sister’s disappearance got old fast. Honestly, you could probably remove this entire story line from the book and it would probably make the book slightly less boring.
This book was far too wordy, with not enough excitement. I probably would’ve DNF-ed this book before I even hit the halfway mark if I didn’t personally hate leaving books half read.
There were some moments where I was finally interested in the story, but those moments were too far and too few. It’s good this was short, otherwise I really do think I would’ve given up.