Book Review: After All

31 May

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave-a secret that changes everything she thought about their marriage. For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?

Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence-for someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night. Can he ever shake the feeling that he could have somehow prevented the tragedy? And now it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

DEBORAH RANEY is bestselling novelist whose books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Silver Angel from Excellence in Media, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. The novel inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title and continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences and serves on the advisory board of the 2500-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She has written more than 20 novels, and her recent Hanover Falls Novels series is published by Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas.

My Impressions:

After All is the final book in Deborah Raney’s Hanover Falls series.  It can be read as a standalone, but don’t do it!  These books are too good not to read the whole series.  Deborah Raney writes characters you can care about.  The stresses and experiences they encounter are very real.  So if you haven’t read any of the books in the series, pick up all three.  You will be in for a wonderful reading experience.

After All focuses on Susan Marlowe, widow of one of the firefighters that were killed in the Grove Street Homeless Shelter fire.  Even 18 months after the tragedy, events of that night continue to rock the small town of Hanover Falls. Susan is the director and spearhead of the shelter that continues to generate controversy.  Susan has come to believe that the community is finally getting behind this project, but a series of newspaper articles and mysterious events, including a fire at her home, begin to erode support.  Susan also has begun a budding relationship with fire chief Pete Brennen.  But revelations by her son about the infidelity of her late husband, leave Susan in turmoil.

There is plenty for a reader to love in After All — suspense, drama, mystery and romance.  The characters are well-written and complex.  The emotions explored are believable.  And the faith message is strong, but never hits the reader over the head. This was a book I could not put down, and I never saw the surprise ending coming.  So if you have read Almost Forever and Forever After, go right out and get After All.  If you haven’t read any of these books, go out and get all three!  You will love them.

Highly Recommended.


(I received After All from Glass Road PR in return for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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