By Andrea Belcham

A review of After by Hazel Hutchins

Published on April 1, 2009

Hazel Hutchins

Smith, Bonappétit & Son.

Hazel Hutchins’ After is the story of the long journey through grief taken by two young teens after a sudden act of violence. Kate and Sam each lost an older sibling in the same store shooting less than a year ago. The difference is that one’s brother was the perpetrator, the other’s a victim. The two protagonists never meet, Kate’s family having uprooted to a horse farm while Sam remains in the city, yet both are plagued by anxiety and loneliness. Kate cannot speak of her sadness; instead, she writes letters to the dear friend she left behind. Sam also changes schools, but can’t escape the fear that he, like his brother, will develop a debilitating mental illness. Unbearable silences are broken, friends are discovered in unexpected places, and healing finally begins in this powerful novel that will appeal to both sexes. (Ages 13+) mRb

Andrea Belcham lives in Saint-Lazare, where many of her best neighbours are trees.



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