What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

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This debut novel has been getting all the buzz lately. It’s slightly different than a normal book I would pick up, but I’m anxious to see what everyone’s talking about!

Thank you Riverhead Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: After the shocking death of two teenage boys tears apart a community in the Pacific Northwest, a mysterious pregnant girl emerges out of the woods and into the lives of those same boys’ families–a moving and hopeful novel about forgiveness and human connection. In misty, coastal Washington State, Isaac lives alone with his dog, grieving the recent death of his teenage son, Daniel. Next door, Lorrie, a working single mother, struggles with a heinous act committed by her own teenage son. Separated by only a silvery stretch of trees, the two parents are emotionally stranded, isolated by their great losses–until an unfamiliar sixteen-year-old girl shows up, bridges the gap, and changes everything. Evangeline’s arrival at first feels like a blessing, but she is also clearly hiding something. When Isaac, who has retreated into his Quaker faith, isn’t equipped to handle her alone, Lorrie forges her own relationship with the girl. Soon all three characters are forced to examine what really happened in their overlapping pasts, and what it all possibly means for a shared future.

What a beautiful, heartbreaking story. If you loved “Where the Crawdads Sing”, I think you’ll really enjoy this one! This is more than just a typical “coming-of-age” story and not quite a mystery novel. I think that’s what I like best about it. The writing is breathtaking, especially for a debut author! This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time. Highly recommended!

5/5 Stars

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