*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"After" by Amy Efaw

This seems to be the year that I read powerful and shocking novels.  After by Amy Efaw fits that criteria in every way possible.  The novel opens with Devon lying on her living room couch.  She tells her mother that she is sick and needs to stay home, but the reader knows better.  That morning, Devon gave birth to a baby, placed her in a trash bag and discarded her in the trash can behind the apartment.  Very quickly the police arrive on her doorstep and discover what Devon has done.  She is immediately taken into custody.  As the novel progresses we see Devon through the juvenile justice system and onto court.  Though the novel takes place in a little over a week, it is difficult to grasp that so much happens in so little time.

This is likely the most impactful book I have read so far this year.  Efaw’s writing pulls on your heartstrings and does the impossible- makes the reader feel sympathetic for a character that has committed the worst crime imaginable.  When I started this book I instantly felt anger towards Devon (what else could be expected) but as the story progressed, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her and wonder if maybe there was more to her story than she had every realized or excepted.  As often happens, I had a hard time putting this book down and I believe that other readers will feel the same.

Happy Reading!

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