About In the Aftermath
• Publisher: She Writes Press (September 21, 2021)
When David Herron—overwhelmed and despairing, his family’s business and finances in ruin due to the bursting lending bubble of 2008—takes his own life one chilly spring morning, he has no idea the ripple effect his decision will set into motion.
Two years later, his widow, Jules, is now an employee of the bakery she and David used to own—and still full of bitterness over David’s lies, perceived cowardice, and ultimate abandonment of her and their now-teenage daughter, Rennie. Rennie, meanwhile, struggles socially at school, resents her work-obsessed mother, and is convinced she’s to blame for her father’s death.
When Denise, the former police detective who worked (and, due to her own personal struggles at the time, mishandled) David’s case, catches sight of Rennie at her sons’ school, she’s struck by the girl’s halo of sadness—and becomes obsessed with attempting to right the wrongs she believes she perpetrated two years ago.
And as all this unfolds in Boston, Daniel, the guilt-ridden young man who, in his old life as a banker, helped create the circumstances that led to David’s suicide, continues to punish himself for his sins by living half a life, working odd jobs and bouncing from one US city to another, never staying long enough to make friends or build something lasting.
Ultimately, each of these very different people—all of them tied together by one tragic event—must learn in their own way how to say good-bye to the past and move into a brighter future.
“Ward masterfully builds a sense of dread with mundane details in the first section, and the way that she finds significance in moments of ordinary, everyday life is reminiscent of the work of Anne Tyler. This deeply empathetic novel deals sensitively with difficult subjects. . . . An insightful and psychologically astute story of ordinary people moving forward after personal tragedy.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
In the Aftermath by Jane Ward is a gripping and heart-rending read that will make you want to tightly hug the ones you love. While this book is an emotional read, it’s more than just a sad story. In the Aftermath is a poignant reminder of how even our smallest actions can affect other people. Through this story we see just how true this is when we witness multiple characters experience a chain reaction of guilt due to their mistakes.
Within this fictional world, the lives of Ward’s characters represent the permanency of mistakes.. but they also represent the power of accountability and forgiveness.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story because although it was fictional.. it highlighted very real human experiences. And as the best stories always do, this book will stay with me long after I’ve read it.
If you’re looking for a deeply moving and insightful read, I highly recommend In the Aftermath.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for inviting me on this blog tour for In the Aftermath. I received a free copy of this book through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
About Jane Ward
Jane Alessandrini Ward is the author of Hunger (Forge 2001) and The Mosaic Artist. She graduated from Simmons College with a degree in English literature and began working almost immediately in the food and hospitality industry: private events planner with Creative Gourmets in Boston, planner of corporate parties at The 95th Restaurant in Chicago, and weekend baker at Quebrada Bakery in Arlington, Massachusetts. She has been a contributing writer for the online regional and seasonal food magazine Local In Season and a blogger and occasional host of cooking videos for MPN Online, an internet recipe resource affiliated with several newspapers across the country. Although a Massachusetts native, Jane recently settled in Chicago after returning to the US from Switzerland.