Thursday, June 21, 2012
I recently finished After Annie by Michael Tucker. The novel centers on the intersection of two people: Herb Aaron and the beautiful bartender, Olive. The two are at polar opposites. Herb is decades removed from his success as an actor, such that when people recognize him he is merely "that guy who played on that show." Olive is a young actress who needs Herb to be there for her in order to make in the business. Problem is Herb is exhausted, cantankerous, and in mourning over the loss of his wife and lover, Annie. One evening, while Annie is fading away, Herb tells her about meeting Olive and Annie insists that she meet her. The two connect deeply and when Annie passes Herb becomes Olive's surrogate mentor. Annie serves as the tether that holds Olive and Herb together even though Herb does his best to escape. He soon learns that his final memory and connection to Annie is in Olive. Often funny, sometimes bizarre, Tucker creates a fun story in which two characters learn there is so much more to life after Annie.