What Follows After by Dan Walsh ~ A Contemporary Fiction Book Review

Dan Walsh
Contemporary Fiction

Back of the book:

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy. And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

My thoughts:

This is one of the hardest Contemporary Fiction books that I have read in a long time. The first part of the book depicts a child abduction and it is terrifying. The time frame is 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The normal protocol for searching for a stolen child is all derailed in the light of the national crisis. Dan Walsh does a masterful job of reminding us how different things were then. No GPS tracking on buses, no cell phones, no Amber alerts. All those things we take for granted now were absent then. In my mind I kept thinking why don't they just . . . then I would remember that technology wasn't available.

While the story line of the missing child had my heart racing, the plight of the parents left me cold. I don't want to give away plot lines so I will just say their strategies for finding their missing child just didn't make sense. And to top it off their focusing on their marital relationship in the midst of this disaster just seemed out of place. I really enjoy the writing of Dan Walsh but this just felt like two separate stories that just didn't quite fit together. Nevertheless I will continue to read his work because he really is a great story teller. This just didn't happen to be my favorite. 

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Photo Credit: © Dan Davis Photography

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