Sunday, August 23, 2009

AFTER by Amy Efaw

The power of denial is examined in this moving story about teen pregnancy. It's not the typical story of young love followed by accidental pregnancy and early motherhood. Instead, AFTER takes readers into the mind of a teen who denies the pregnancy to the extent of hiding the birth and dumping the baby in the trash. According to author Amy Efaw, it is unfortunately an all too common reality and has been since recorded history.

Devon lives for soccer. She has been playing competitively since age eleven. Her position is goalkeeper, an excellent choice for a girl determined to keep her own life under strict control.

For as far back as she can remember, Devon has had to fend for herself. Her own mother gave birth to her at sixteen and never really grew up. There has been a parade of different men and countless dead-end jobs for Devon's mother, with a focus on filling each day with personal pleasure above all else.

Devon, having made an early promise to herself that she would not follow in her mother's footsteps, puts her focus on top-notch grades and error-free soccer performances. When she meets the amazing Connor and lets her guard down for one fateful night, she uses her rigid control to block the event from her mind.

AFTER attempts to explain how a young woman can deny a sexual encounter and the resulting pregnancy so completely that nine months later the birth of a baby can be a total and unexpected horror. Beginning after Devon's arrest and placement in a juvenile facility, the story unfolds as Devon and her lawyer prepare to face the charges of attempted murder. This emotionally charged novel is a must read that will make readers listen to similar stories on the news with a different understanding of the psychological circumstances that trigger such events.

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