After All

 

Title: After All
Author: Deborah Raney
Pages: 368
Publisher: Howard Books
Year: 2012
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review from Howard Books. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Here is a story about fictional lives that could be but a reflection of actual events. Ever read a fictional story that seemed real like that? Well, hold on to your socks as this is one of those stories. It starts out with a small town firefighter group losing five of its own members in a single fire. We can all remember 09/11, so this isn’t hard to imagine at all. During one of the last memorial services as the people are leaving, there is a figure looming in the distance. Why is that? Who is it?
From that point on, we see how a widow continues to pour out her heart in a shelter for the homeless in the same small community. The community is welcoming the rebuilding of the shelter, but why is it being rebuilt? Well, I can’t spoil it for you. In either case, the rebuilding isn’t getting glowing reviews from some people and finding help or donations is turning out to be very difficult.
The main female character, Susan, is the woman who heads the shelter and is one of the widows from the fire. Her sons are grown, but one of them has had some trouble in the past and isn’t exactly handling his future well either. The chief of the house has a broken marriage, and his walk with God is on rocky ground. What happens with them all? One character in the story is the first female fire inspector. She has something in her past that is directly making her future uncertain and maybe devious. Exactly what is she up to anyway? What I just shared is just the tip of the iceberg!
This is the third and final Hanover Falls Novel for Deborah Raney. It is a story woven together masterfully. There are many threads that run throughout the story and the ending just might not be what you were expecting. For me, this is the first novel I have read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I love stories that can touch on reality and in the end leave the reader hopeful. It is refreshing to pick up a story where everything within the story isn’t wrapped up so nice and pretty. I plan on reading and watching for more stories from Deborah Raney. She writes with heart, soul, and faith. After All gets 4-½ stars from me. Read it and see what you think!