Rating: * * * * *
Publishers: Merit Press
(Nov 1, 2016)
Hardback: 282 pages
FTC Disclosure: Provided by the publisher
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life--the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
"For all of us who have watched the chilling news of kidnapped females rescued and thought 'There but for the grace of God' and 'How do they go on?'...here is the answer fully imagined, exquisitely written, ultimately triumphant. You will cry all the way through this story but you will not put it down." ~Jennifer Echols, award-winning author of Going Too Far
"Kensie deftly explores what happens after the supposedly happy ending of a nightmare. But nothing is as simple as it seems--not even the truth." ~April Henry, author of The Girl I Used to Be; Girl, Stolen; and The Night She Disappeared
"A captivating story of self-(re)discovery, Clara Kensie's Aftermath introduces us to Charlotte, a sixteen-year-old girl trying hard to reclaim her place in a family decimated by her kidnapping four years earlier. Charlotte wants only to catch up to her twin Alexa and live out all the plans they'd made as children, but finds the journey back to 'normal' is not only hers to take. Charlotte is a heroine to cheer for...with gut-twisting bravery and raw honesty, she takes us through that journey--back to the unspeakable tortures she endured in captivity and forward to how those years scarred her family, leaving us intensely hopeful and confident that she will not merely survive, but triumph." ~Patty Blount, author of Some Boys; Send; TMI; and Nothing Left to Burn
"Delving deep into the darkness of abduction and its 'Aftermath,' Kensie takes us on an unflinching journey of healing, courage, and triumph of the human spirit. Heartbreaking, yet stubbornly hopeful." ~Sonali Dev, author of A Bollywood Affair and The Bollywood Bride
"Aftermath is a timely, powerful portrait of hope amid tragedy, strength amid brokenness, and the healing power of forgiveness." ~Erica O'Rourke, award-winning author of the Torn trilogy and the Dissonance series
"Gripping, powerful, deeply moving, Aftermath is a book I didn't want to end. It's written with such compassion that it will help readers heal. A must-read." ~Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars and Stained
A Children's Book Review pick for one of the Best New Young Adult Books, November 2016
This is a great book-this is a horrible book- this is a horribly great book. It will rip your heart out and you'll cry nasty tears. You'll curse yourself for picking it up to read (cause you knew going in it was NOT going to be an easy read) while not being able to lay it down except to grab a tissue as your nose is spewing snot because you've been crying nonstop.
As a parent, you worry about your child from the time you realize you are pregnant till you take your last breath You worry about if he's going to make it 9 months growing in your belly, you worry if he'll be healthy, you worry if he'll have your husband's gorgeous blue eyes
or your uncle's goofy ears.
You worry about anything and everything. It never ends. When they start school, you worry if they'll make friends easily, if they'll be smart, athletic, popular, and all kinds of crazy stuff. And then there are the real worries as they get older, when you realize you can't be there 24/7. They start being more independent and you realize that you can't vet every friend they make or every stranger they meet.
This story addresses the aftermath of trying to put a broken family back together after having had one of the most horrendous unimaginable things happen to them. One of their precious daughters disappears after a ball game and for over four years they don't know if she's alive or dead.
Everyone handles the loss in a different way and once this child, now a 16 year returns, it really gets rough. This story doesn't get too graphic but your mind will paint pictures that will stay with you for eons after reading it.
This is a YA book and I'll pass my copy on to my daughter to lend to her high school students. It's a pretty quick read but wait and read it over a weekend so that you can devote the time to it as I promise once started you will not be able to ignore it till you read that last page and even then you'll think about it and be pissed that it won't leave you alone.
It would not surprise me to see this book optioned as a movie later on but I'm not sure I could bear to see it.