I have thoroughly enjoyed several of Dan Walsh’s novels, so I was excited to get my hands on his latest book What Follows After.
This novel takes place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile crisis. Life in America in 1962 looks nothing like life does today. This story drops you into life in the south while JFK is staging for a possible WWIII. Meanwhile, a young couple, Scott and Gina, is facing a possible divorce and yet hiding it from the public “disapproving” eye. Two little boys are torn between keeping their parent’s secret of separation or telling their favorite aunt and uncle in the hopes of reconciliation.
When one of the boys is kidnapped, the mother and father are forced to deal with the trauma together.
I did not jump right into loving this novel, the story line was a bit too real for me, however I kept reading and really loved the truths and the many messages in this story! While life in 1962 may appear sweet and charming, families back them kept many things behind closed doors. Couples did not communicate openly or honestly like is common today. Racism was rampant in the south whether you approved of it or not.
Dan Walsh addresses each of these issues with a sensitive approach and offers a great message as well. I loved watching Scott and Gina re-evaluate their marriage and make strides towards improving it and increasing communication. Seeing this family heal and draw closer while dealing with the loss of their son was profound.
Scott also decides to stand against his parents and reaches out to the woman who really was the mother to him, Mamie Lee, his family’s housekeeper. Mamie Lee’s love for Scott and his family, as well as her faith in God were inspiring and were clearly what family was really about.
So, I admit I started off a little slow with this book, I flew through it once I let myself connect with the characters and the story! While the subject of a kidnapped child is tough, the story is told well, and it ends well! The focus of this story is not the kidnapping, instead it is all about how the kidnapping causes everyone to re-evaluate priorities.
NOTE : I was offered a copy of What Follows After by Revell Publishers .