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Friday, January 01, 2010

After - Amy Efaw

This book was a heart-wrenching read for a Friday night (yes, I am a wild and crazy gal, I know). I sat on the couch and cried and cried. I ached for this young woman who was clearly in such a horrible place inside that she literally had no idea how to deal with what was happening to her.

Devon Davenport has always been an excellent student, a great athlete, an all around top-notch kid. No one would have predicted this sophomore girl be in jail, but that's exactly what's happened to Devon who is accused of attempted murder after an abandoned baby was found in a trash can behind her house and Devon herself was found covered in blood.

This is certainly not the first time I've heard of a mother abandoning a baby in a trash can. I usually hear about it around once a year on the news. It's been such a problem that most states have even created laws that allow mothers to abandon babies at hospitals or fire stations with no criminal charges. But I've ever understood how a mother could do it. How could she take this small, helpless child and leave it - probably to die? It's hard to imagine. But Devon Davenport gives a very human face to this situation, and she helped me to understand how it might happen. How someone might be in such denial that she could do something so horrifying, something that might even be horrifying to HER if she were in her right mind. You see, Devon is NOT in her right mind.

The reader sees this by her responses and reactions which are vacuous and vacant. the reader sees this through her inability to process even simple directions. The reader sees this in her snippets of flashback scattered throughout the text. It's disturbing, frightening, distressing, and helped this reader, at least, to be more empathetic toward this kind of situation.

I read another review where the reviewer referred to this book as emotionally raw, and I think that's a great description. It is both powerful and plaintive. Fans of Walter Dean Myers' Monster or Picoult's My Sister's Keeper will enjoy this riveting story with its surprising conclusion.

1 comment:

Soccer Mom Extraordinaire said...

Thanks for the great review on my book! I so appreciate you taking the time to review -- and read -- it!