Afterward: A Novel (Hardcover)
Ethan and Caroline are connected by a horrible event - Ethan, and Caroline's autistic brother Dylan, were both kidnapped by the same criminal. Ethan was held and abused for four years, while Dylan was held for a few days. Mathieu's novel looks at what happens afterward, when both families struggle through recovery. Her realistic depictions of families from the same town but different backgrounds make this story ring heartbreakingly true. Highly recommended for grades 9 and up.— Cathy
A tragic kidnapping leads to an unlikely friendship in this novel about finding light in the midst of darkness from the author of The Truth About Alice.
When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgensen, who had gone on a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again. Dylan's older sister, Caroline, can't help but wonder what happened to her brother, who has nonverbal autism and is not adjusting well to life back home. There's only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn't sure how he can help Caroline when he is fighting traumatic memories of his own captivity. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other.
About the Author
Jennifer Mathieu started writing stories when she was in kindergarten and now teaches English to high school students. She won the Teen Choice Debut Author Award at the Children's Choice Book Awards for her first novel, The Truth About Alice. She is also the author of Devoted and Afterward. She lives in Texas with her husband, son, and dog.
"A thoughtfully rendered story of the healing power of friendship in the wake of trauma, Afterward is equal parts hopeful, moving, and nuanced." —Julie Murphy, author of Side Effects May Vary and New York Times bestseller Dumplin'
"Afterward is a brave story about the transcendent power of friendship, told with remarkable grace. I became utterly engrossed in the beauitfully drawn lives and minds of Ethan and Caronline, and the sensitive, truthful depiction of the bond that begins to heal them both." —Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead
"Heartbreaking and heart mending, Afterward is a beautifully crafted novel that shows the power of hope and the resilience of one incredible boy and the people who care about him. Jennifer Mathieu has again demonstrated the complexity and strength of survivors in an authentic and compassionate way." —Christa Desir, author of Bleed Like Me and Fault Line
"Afterward is a perceptive depiction of recovery from a trauma most of us have only read about in the news. Fans of Jennifer Mathieu's earlier books should be ecstatic: this is her best one yet." —Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Toward Falling