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Book NewsBy Esther Callens

Suellen Dainty has given the ultimate spin on middle age. Her debut novel, After Everything, is an engaging read that shows life at its best – WHEN THE DUST HAS SETTLED! At times poignant, at times intense, but always thought provoking, it presents a comical look at quinquagenarians.
Life is about decisions. Whether good or bad we have to suffer the consequences. Perhaps Sandy (After Everything’s main character) did not know this. Then again, maybe he just did and decided to roll the dice and hope for the best. Whatever he thought, it is a known fact that he is not happy with his current state of affairs. At one time in his life he was a celebrated songwriter with a beautiful wife and wonderful kids. The success of his career led him to neglect his family. Divorced now, his wife Peggy has moved to France and found love in the arms of another. His daughter Emily went to India in search of peace. Matt, his son, is in search of his next high. Sandy now spends most of his time alone with his libation of choice. Occasionally he visits with a few friends, who, by the way have their own baggage. Take Tim for example, and his far from perfect marriage to Angie. Then Peter, the master of casual affairs, has fallen head over heels in love with a free-spirited beauty named Frieda. Lastly Jeremy, the most successful one out of the bunch, harbors a detrimental addiction.
Middle age should not be like this for Sandy. So in a last ditch effort he tries to reconcile with his kids. This too will be futile unless he comes face to face with the secret that has been haunting him.
Written against the backdrop of London, India and other magnificent places, After Everything is an amusing story with some weighty characters. It affirms that some reality checks come late in life.
Sue Dainty was born in Australia. She has worked for Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, Sky News and others. She lives on a Somerset smallholding