December 5, 2016

Afterward: BooklyBox


Jennifer Mathieu

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3.5 stars. The Literary Fiction book of the month from BooklyBox dealt with some serious mental health issues, which I'm usually all for. My only real problem with this choice is that it seemed more geared toward the young adult audience.

This book is about two main characters (multiple POVs) Ethan and Caroline. Ethan was abducted when he was 11 years old and was found four years later after his kidnapper grabbed another child, Caroline's autistic brother Dylan.

There are plenty of issues for Dylan to deal with, but this book was mostly about his relationship with Caroline in the aftermath of his traumatic return. We slowly start to learn more about what happened to Ethan, and see him start to heal and cope while questioning his beliefs and understanding his repressed memories. I do wish that the book included more of his memories and/or more about the abduction, but I don't think that's what the author was trying to portray. Mostly, she just wanted to show the different issues in Caroline & Ethan's lives and how the abduction affected different people (including both of their parents).

I think that this is a much needed and very important subject matter. Although children returning from kidnappings is rare, it's hard for people to imagine what it's like for anyone involved. It really hit me how so many people were harsh to Ethan, asking why he didn't just run away when his captor gave him a bit more freedom, but it's not like they understood his situation or mindset, or the fact that Marty had threatened both Ethan and his family too many times to count.

I did enjoy the book, but I still think that the previous book, The Atlas of Us, was the best choice yet.


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