Antonia is recently retired and recently widowed with a both a bipolar sister and an undocumented pregnant teen needing her help. When overwhelmed by too many peoples' dramas, Antonia checks in with herself asking, "Who is the important one?"
"You have to start by taking care of yourself. The mantra of the First World. First your own oxygen mask, then everyone else's."
Antonia tries to stay true to herself: "If I try to be like you, then who will be like me?" But the overwhelming needs of those around her prevail, and Antonia shuttles back and forth taking care of others, as her dearly departed husband Sam would have done.
With the help of her friends and her sisters, Antonia begins to mend while honoring the cracks.
Afterlife is one of the best books I have read this year! It is a wonderfully introspective story that explores the demands put upon women, and the demands we women put upon ourselves. Highly recommended for anyone who tends to question assumptions, roles and barriers.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 Hardcover 272 pages, Audiobook 6 hours, 26 minutes.