Cover Image: What Comes After

What Comes After

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Member Reviews

this was a good story. though i expected a thriller there was a good mystery in the background. covers topics of grief, loss, forgiveness.
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Great suspense novel and read alike for We Begin At the End (last year’s hot suspense read). Should be on all mystery suspense lovers’ lists and may possibly be one of the best of 2022. Recommended for mature teens and up- teen readers will empathize with the voices of the teen protagonists as their story unfolds. 5/5 stars. Recommended.
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3.5 stars!

I wasn’t sure what to expect before reading, because I only briefly skimmed the synopsis. However, the story ended up taking on a much darker and heavier tone.

Told from multiple POVs, WHAT COMES AFTER tells the story of a tragedy as two teen boys are dead and a pregnant teen girl who appears in their community. 

It covers themes of grief and loss of a loved one, to found family, love and secrets.

*many thanks to Riverhead and Netgalley for the gifted copy for review
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Wonderful book - I enjoyed the characters, the writing and the plot. I would definitely recommend this book!
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I wanted to like this book, but I found it to be bit tedious.  It wan an interesting concept, but I could not begin to care about any of the characters.
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After the death of two teen boys, Daniel and Jonah, and the appearance of a pregnant teen girl, Evangaline, a community is rocked by the secrets death and life bring. Isaac, alone in his grief, tries to fill the space and find closure over Daniel's death. Lorrie, a working single mother, widowed by her abusive husband, tries to cope while also grieving Jonah. The two families are brought together by an unsuspecting Evangaline.
Told from the POV of Evangaline, Isaac, and a deceased Jonah, this book covers the love, secrets, and loss of a community in Washington state. Though a "mystery" novel, the mystery of the boys' deaths is revealed early on in the book so this was more of a novel of the "mystery" of...what comes after...death.
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I was not expecting this book to be as dark and heavy as it ended up to be. From the premise you know that there are two murders that happen before the story starts and it mentions the boys' parents coping with the tragedy. I don't know why I thought this was going to be more of a hard hitting contemporary story about grief and acceptance through the people that connected the two boys.

I was WAY wrong. It was more of a really dark mystery with undertones of a lot of physical and mental abuse. Some content warnings include death of a child, suicide, child abandonment and neglect, sexual assault, and . homelessness. I usually don't seek stories with heavy content like this one and I was definitely not the intended audience for this book.

The characters were extremely unlikable and failed to make me care for them. I really did not enjoy it and it pains me because I thought I was really going to love it. I think I can see why people like it, but this is not the content that I enjoy reading. Nonetheless, I think the writing was really good and this being a debut novel shows promise for this author's career. 

Thank you PENGUIN GROUP Riverhead and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a member of the American Library Association Reading List Award Committee. This title was suggested for the 2022 list. It was not nominated for the award. The complete list of winners and shortlisted titles is at <a href="https://rusaupdate.org/2022/01/readers-advisory-announce-2022-reading-list-years-best-in-genre-fiction-for-adult-readers/">
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What Comes After is an unfortunate tale of the way all of our lives are connected whether we realize it or not. The story focuses on the challenging path to  forgiveness and overcoming grief. It definitely pulls at your heart strings and makes you feel all of the feelings.
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Read through this rather quickly. It is quite fast-paced an engaging. Tompkins definitely provided an entertaining story with this work.
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QUICK TAKE: kinda went in expecting a murder mystery, but this is more of an unconventional small town family drama. Not a bad thing, just know that going into this you're not going to get dark and twisty thrills. It's a slow burn story about a man grieving the loss of his son, and a mysterious young woman who comes into his life. I liked a lot about it, but it is not a fast-paced read by any means.
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You know when you start a book and are immediately captivated? That was this book for me. The writing was SO GOOD. The prose was beautiful, and sucked me in from the start. I took my time with it because I wanted to savor the story and every word spoken. 

I loved the multiple POV perspective and alternating timelines. I loved the themes of religion, especially of the Quaker faith, woven in which had underlying impacts on the characters and story as a whole. I’ve never read a book with that community featured, and enjoyed those themes integrated throughout. I think it could of been leaned into even more because I would of loved to see more from Isaac’s perspective how deeply his faith impacted his actions and community. 

This is a story of unexpected tragedy on a small community of people, chosen family, and forgiveness. Isaac and Evangeline’s relationship was so special, and felt really real and honest the merging of two lonely souls that found each other when they needed it most. Rufus was one of the best characters. 

Getting Jonah’s perspective throughout was one of my favorite parts of the novel and brought such depth and understanding to the events that occurred. 

The more I think about this book, the more I know it’ll be one that sticks with me for a long time. 

Would recommend for those who were fans of Ask Again, Yes! 

Thank you to @netgalley and @riverheadbooks for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! ✨
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Nope, couldn’t finish this one. It sat in my NetGalley shelf for months, and I kept telling myself that I would eventually read it. But it just wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to read it or keep reading.
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I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I thought this book started out very strong. The characters were well developed and the writing was very good, but as the book went on it started to weaken. At some points the story seemed to drag a bit and there was just so much going on. I liked the different points of view of the characters telling the story. I think that added to the story rather than making it more confusing. But, let me see that I absolutely hated the epilogue. They could have completely done without it and the book would have been fine. I actually think the confusion it added took this down a star for me.
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Started slow then stayed that way. Characters seemed one dimensional. The book left me feeling burdened which is never good.
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This is a solid character-driven novel and would definitely be a good book for a book club discussion group.  The pace is rather slow, however.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What Comes After is very much a character-driven story (it is billed as a mystery, but there is no mystery). You find out in the first chapter that Daniel is murdered by Jonah and Jonah commits suicide. (Again: no mystery!). The book talks about what comes after (kind of... there are three points of view given and one of them is Jonah in the 24 hours or so before his death, but it also includes snippets of his past and life).

The other two narrators are Isaac, who is Daniel's father and Evangeline. Evangeline is a girl who is pregnant and lost (not literally, figuratively). Her mom kicked her out and she has nowhere to go. She had met both Daniel and Jonah and formed a brief connection with both, which is how she is tied to Isaac. She shows up on his doorstep and he takes her in (he's a Quaker and that is a theme throughout as well).

This book examines the relationships between the characters (as well as Lorrie, Jonah's mom). It talks about grief and moving on after loss. It talks about hope in a dark situation. I really liked the character of Evangeline and how she tied everyone together. The book is long but enjoyable.
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It took me a while to get into this book. At first, I stayed just to figure out the mysterious bit but I was so glad that I stayed the course and listened to the whole thing. 

Life is freaking hard and messy and we all make such terrible mistakes. The way that Lorrie and Isaac fiercely love and support Evangeline is something I will think about for years to come. That is what this world needs…People unselfish enough to see past their own grief and help who crosses their path, unconditionally. I know this is easier said then done…but wow, the way Lorrie and Isaac did it was just so inspiring. 

I really enjoyed learning about the Quaker religion. I honestly don’t think I had known anything about them before and I found that absolutely fascinating. 

This book and the characters were often very difficult to read. I was frustrated at time, but the depth in everything that was felt and explored was done so beautifully. I’m so glad I gave this book a try.
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Beautiful prose, deep characters, and a suspenseful twisty plot, this novel is solid. However, it’s slow pace and hard to like characters didn’t make this book a top choice for me.
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What an interesting and unusual story!  I loved this slow-burn mystery and found the Quaker faith fascinating to little about.
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