Monday, October 12, 2009

After by Amy Efaw

This story is graphic and heart-wrenching.

Devon stays home from school one day, laying on the couch and barely aware of what's going on around her. Her mother comes home from her graveyard shift, bubbly and talking constantly. The police are all over their neighborhood--someone found a baby in the dumpster behind their building. When the police show up at their door, Devon's mother lets them in so they can ask Devon if she's seen anything. Instead, they arrest her.

Devon doesn't really remember giving birth, or throwing the baby into the garbage. As she sits in juvenile detention, waiting for her hearing, she begins to recall the events that she's tried to block out. Did she intend to throw away the baby? Does she really know what happened THAT NIGHT?

Reading this book took some time. As much as you don't want to like Devon for what she did, it's impossible to hate her. The narrator takes you through all that goes through Devon's mind during the labor and birth, but only as Devon finally recalls and accepts what's happened. The author's note at the end explains why she chose to write a novel in the way that she did. And it worked. A fantastic first book, but not for the faint of heart.

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