Every­thing After

September 1, 2020

The Light We Lost mix­es with a touch of Daisy Jones and the Six in this nov­el of first love, pas­sion, and the pow­er of choice – and how we can­not escape the peo­ple we are meant to be.

Two loves. Two choic­es. One chance to fol­low her dreams.

Emi­ly has come a long way since she lost her two pas­sions fif­teen years ago: music and Rob. She’s a psy­chol­o­gist at NYU who helps trou­bled col­lege stu­dents like the one she once was. Togeth­er with her car­ing doc­tor hus­band, Ezra, she has a beau­ti­ful life. They’re hap­py. They hope to start a fam­i­ly. But when a trag­ic event in Emi­ly’s present too close­ly echoes her past, and parts of her sto­ry that she’d hoped nev­er to share come to light, her per­fect life is sud­den­ly upturned. Then Emi­ly hears a song on the radio about the woman who got away. The melody and voice are haunt­ing­ly famil­iar. Could it be? As Emi­ly’s past pas­sions come roar­ing back into her life, she’ll find her­self ask­ing: Who is she meant to be? Who is she meant to love?

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Put­nam Books

  1. In Every­thing After, Emi­ly must face ques­tions about who she is, what she wants, and whom she loves. Is there a time you have asked these same ques­tions of your­self? If so, how did that jour­ney lead to where you are today?

  2. Emi­ly and Rob had a whirl­wind romance that ulti­mate­ly took them down dif­fer­ent paths. Who was your first love? What did that rela­tion­ship teach you, and do you ever rem­i­nisce about it?

  3. In chap­ter 44, Emi­ly says, Life was a blend of choic­es and not choic­es, things that we had con­trol over and things we didn’t.” What are the things you have con­trol over and the things you don’t in your life?

  4. Ari and Priya are there for Emi­ly through thick and thin, espe­cial­ly when she needs guid­ance. Do you have a Priya or Ari in your life? If so, share a moment when you felt your friend helped you through a tough situation.

  5. What was your favorite scene, and why?

  6. Loss and grief are two themes that Emi­ly encoun­ters in dif­fer­ent points in her life. How do you feel she han­dled her grief, and what things might you have done dif­fer­ent­ly if placed in her position?

  7. Do you feel you are the same per­son now as you were five years ago? Ten years ago? How are you the same or different?

  8. Do you think Emi­ly and Ezra’s rela­tion­ship was an accu­rate por­tray­al of mar­riage? What moments did you either relate to or not relate to?

  9. Dis­cuss what you think it tru­ly means to be a moth­er, and the effect expe­ri­enc­ing Emily’s loss has on a person.

  10. Why do you think Emi­ly is drawn to both Ezra and Rob? What makes each of them spe­cial in her life? Are you Team Rob or Team Ezra, and why?

  11. Did the end­ing sur­prise you?