The Afterlife of Walter Augustus tells a story of two people:
Walter – stuck in the Interim, waiting to be forgotten by every living person so he will be able to pass over to the next stage of the afterlife.
Letty – middle-aged shoe saleswoman who’s life turns upside down when she stumbles upon a poetry collection ‘Seas, Swallows and all but Sorrows’ by Walter.
It is a very adorable read and that is mostly due to the two main characters. Starting the story off, both Walter and Letty are pushovers, neither is fighting back when others try and take advantage of them. With Letty, I found that quality to be innocent and it made me feel sorry for her, but with Walter I found it too be a little too much. Not only has he been not in control fully of his own life while he was still alive, but he remained a pushover even in the afterlife. Regardless, it was amazing to read their story and see how both Letty and Walter progress throughout it.
The characters were surprisingly witty, I really enjoyed that quality, it added another layer to the afterlife. I didn’t suspect the author to do so, but it fitted really nicely and two or three times I caught myself laughing out loud.
It was a well-paced read, I didn’t necessarily feel like it was too slow or too quick. It was also very hard to foresee what will happen next, I enjoyed the suspension.
The concept of the Interim was well thought-out. I find the idea of not being able to move on in the afterlife until you’re completely forgotten by the living, to be fascinating and a scary idea. I found myself thinking about it even after I stopped reading, it really stuck with me.
Overall, it is a very interesting book that builds on a very unique idea of the afterlife, I am very pleased with the way it was done. Both Walter and Letty were honest, believable characters that only added to it.
The reason it won’t get 5 stars is because certain parts of the story were a bit confusing, I think it was due to writing. I found a couple of paragraphs that didn’t necessarily make sense, it felt like the words were all mushed together to form a sentence. The imaginative part of the story is terrific but there is room to improve on the execution.