In December of 1980, the unthinkable happens: a plane with 169 passengers crashes into the Swiss Alps killing 168 people. The sole survivor of the plane crash, a three-month-old baby girl, is then thrown into a whirlwind of confusion. There were two baby girls on that flight, and without DNA testing to prove who the survivor is, the Vitrals and de Carvilles both step up to take the child.
After the Crash by Michel Bussi tells the story of the sole survivor of the plane crash, but even after the courts place her with a family, will anyone know for sure who she truly is? Is she Lyse-Rose or Emilie? At 18 years old Lylie, as she is called, is now in college. She has always had doubts about her true identity, and with feelings towards her “brother,” things are bound to get strange. The detective tasked with finding out who Lylie really is leaves a notebook in her possession detailing his findings.
Who is Lylie? Is she a Vitral or a de Carville? And when she finds out, will she regret knowing who she really is?
First of all, the synopsis on the back of the book is what drew me in, not the actual cover art. The premise sounded interesting and like nothing I’ve ever read before. The story itself is interesting and kept me guessing throughout the entire novel. However, with that being said, I did not like the writing style at all. I am not sure if it was because it had been translated from French into English, but either way, the writing was clunky and awkward. There was no flow to the book. It was just stiff and seemed forced.
Also, I did not like the fact that Lylie and her perspective on things wasn’t in the book much. I was confused as to why that was the case because I thought with Lylie being the focus of the novel, we would get to see a bit more of what she thought and felt throughout the 18 years after she was placed in a household. I also hated the ending. I felt that the author did not give the reader a way to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The clue he uses to solve the mystery was a visual one that does not get explained until the very end of the book.
Although the premise of the story seemed interesting and I kept reading to find out who Lylie was, I would say that I didn’t like the book as a whole. I wouldn’t read it again and will probably steer clear of books translated from another language into English.
Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Hachette Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.