Devon Davenport is the perfect student, teammate, and daughter. Responsible, talented, and hard-working, she has a bright future ahead of her, and is determined to not be like her mother, who gave birth to her at age sixteen. Because of these reasons, it's unbelievably hard for her family and friends to accept that she was pregnant, and didn't even know it, and that when she gave birth, she left her baby in the trash to die. But Devon did...and now the question is, is she guilty of attempted murder?
After is a heartbreaking novel that is simultaneously hard to read and intensely compelling. The book starts out briskly and suddenly, offering an unflinching look at Devon's situation and mental state as she is discovered, and then shuffled through the legal system, is assigned a lawyer, experiences juvenile hall, and is forced to appear in court. Accompanying her is a wide array of conflicting and complicated emotions, from shock to fear to indignation as Devon is forced to face the facts by her pushy and passionate lawyer, a believer in "tough love". Efaw's writing is detailed and precise, and her prose haunting and throughout Devon's tumultuous journey, she carefully reveals to readers Devon's past and the situations that led to her deeply ingrained denial, until readers can't help but feel deep sympathy for her, even as they face their own doubts and question Devon's behavior. Skillfully written and highly affecting, After is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that explores the complexity of human nature and is sure to leave a mark on readers.
Cover Comments: I like this cover, it is simple yet striking, and it also very subtle--I was halfway through the novel before I realized the difference in the reflection. I think it is very fitting for the topic--carefuly neautral, but eye catching as well.
After will be available from Viking on August 11th, 2009.