“After You’ve Gone vibrates with authenticity: two eras, two young women caught up in the giddy thrall of love and music and feckless men.” — Lee Kvern, author of The Matter of Sylvie and Seven Ways to Sunday
“After You’ve Gone is a thoughtful, offbeat story about two guitarists from two different generations. Through the linked lives of Lita and her granddaughter Elsa, Lori Hahnel takes us from the 1930s to the 2000s, from Regina to Seattle, from swing and jazz to folk rock and grunge, from love to heartbreak and back. This is a novel that consistently hits the sweet chords.” — Barb Howard, author of Whipstock and Western Taxidermy
In 1935 Regina, Lita, a young woman of gypsy ancestry, develops a passion for playing the guitar. After joining a jazz combo she quickly begins a life she couldn’t have imagined. In 1983, Lita’s granddaughter Elsa has become the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the Regina punk band Speed Queen. Together with her punk rock husband and their new baby, they head to Seattle in a move that brings about unexpected personal changes. Though fifty years exist between grandmother and granddaughter, their circumstances and experiences reflect the daunting risks of a musician’s life where the pain of rejection, betrayal, and heartache must be managed alongside the responsibility of personal and professional commitments.