55 pages 1 hour read

Anna Quindlen

After Annie: A Novel

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2024

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Character Analysis

Annie Brown

Annie Brown is 37 when she dies unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm. Although she disappears physically in the opening scene, her presence remains strong throughout the story, and her character comes to life through the collective memories of those who loved her. Through the profound grief experienced by Bill, Ali, and Annemarie, Annie emerges as a beloved wife, mother, caregiver, and best friend. Annie’s tragic death underscores the unpredictability of life and the fact that people often fail to fully appreciate their loved ones until they are gone. As the family grieves, it becomes clear that Annie made everyone around her a better person, and with her passing, everyone must figure out how to live without her.

Each character feels Annie’s presence uniquely; everything they love about her is magnified in her absence. Even after her death, Bill hears her speaking to him, particularly when he fails to keep the household together. However, she is most real to him in his memories of the early days of their relationship, and he keeps her cell phone charged next to his bed to feel closer to her. For Annemarie, Annie has always been her wingman, riding shotgun in the car and belting out their favorite songs.

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