I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Aftermath by Clara Kensie
Published by Merit Press on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary (YA), Coming of Age (YA), Mental Health
Source: the author
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life--the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
If you missed my interview with Clara Kensie and the announcement of the Blu Gives Back Aftermath design, you can visit that here!
OH. MY. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
This story is both difficult and beautiful. It’s a strange combination, considering the hard topics Kensie addresses, but she does it. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful. It’s dark and light. It’s a warning and an encouragement to keep going. It’s this amazing look at one girl’s difficult task of regaining her independence and life after a traumatic experience.
If you didn’t read the synopsis, the story follows Charlotte who just endured 4 years of captivity and sexual abuse and is finally reunited with her family. However, it’s not what she expected or what she always hoped for when she was with her captor.
If you think that story seems pretty straight forward, it’s not. Kensie manages to throw in several surprises along the way that will keep you engaged in the story. There’s much more to it than the already difficult subject it tackles.
Charlotte is a unique character. Obviously, I have no experience similar to hers and I cannot even put into words what it could be like. What I can imagine, though, is that everyone handles their trauma differently, some in unexpected ways. That was Charlotte for me. The image I have in my head of someone who goes through what Charlotte went through is fragile and needs to be coddled. Charlotte wasn’t like this – at least not all the time. I found her to be surprisingly strong considering what she went through. She tries her hardest to bounce back quickly and move on with her life. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. Her character could be a huge role model for people who are suffering from trauma – even if it is not the same kind. She’s a tough cookie, but not perfect. I loved that.
The other characters all played their own role in the story. From her sister to her father, to even her kidnappers family. What I appreciate is that Kensie put an effort into showing the readers that something like this doesn’t only affect the person who went through it, but everyone around them. They all went through dramatic changes and handling those four years of Charlotte missing in their own way.
Kensie just captured me from the beginning. The pacing is perfect, the writing is perfect. The writing is so perfect I created a design based on the phrase “Do it double because some can’t do it at all”.
I’m not even going to try to be professional here, Kensie made me cry. Yep. I don’t cry because of books, but I cried several times reading this one. Thanks, Clara.
Did I gush enough about this? No? Okay, well, I think you should read this book. For multiple reasons, it’s well written, the characters are well fleshed out, the story is gripping and surprising. However, since this book does deal with very sensitive subjects, I do warn you. It’s heartbreaking but will leave you with hope by the end of it.
|Overall:||5 / 5|