Cover Image: What Comes After

What Comes After

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Member Reviews

4.75 ⭐️ For this Book of the Month selection. Atmospheric and beautifully written about healing after loss and trauma, and building trust and relationships. Trigger warning: suicide, mental health, rape. But actually ends with hope.
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Amazing!

I really enjoyed this book! What a pleasant surprise. I was initially attracted to What Comes After for its cover, but it is so much more than that.

This was a great book. It had depth and emotion, which I wasn't expecting.

I'd highly recommend this novel. And I greatly anticipate what JoAnne Tompkins writes next.
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I absolutely loved "What Comes After." While the description of the book gives you a good sense of what the general story is, I was unprepared for how much I felt for each of the characters.

This could have easily been just another tragic book about people who live unfortunate and unlucky lives, but JoAnne Tompkins somehow turns it into a hopeful story, even as it deals with subjects such as murder, rape, teenage pregnancy, and child abandonment. The key is in her characters, and how fully she fleshes out every single one of them to not only be protagonists, but real human beings with flaws that are easy to relate to.

I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Not my cup of tea. I was disappointed that the "big reveal" came right away at the beginning, as I expected more a thriller from the blurb.
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Thanks #netgallery. This is the best book I have read in a long time. I loved the characters and story.
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This book crushed me. It was so heavy and emotional and gut wrenching. I wept like a baby near the end. What a terrific debut novel.
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I was able to get this as a BOTM selection as well, and mostly enjoyed it.  It's sort of a sad take on a part of life that all of us have to deal with at some point (maybe not all in the same way though) and it's heavy.  I did enjoy the book.  At times I found it weighing on me more than I thought it would or expected, but overall, it was good.

3/5 Stars
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The debut novel from JoAnne Tompkins was an enjoyable read, but I would not put it in the Mystery category. This coming of age novel had beautifully done characters and it had me attached to every single one of them. And Rufus! The dog! 
The entire book didn't go as fast as I would have liked it to and I felt as if the ending needed more... oomf.
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interesting great read. totally engaged throughout. good book club read. lots to discuss. interesting characters. great book club book.
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Solid book club pick as there is plenty to discuss.  I do not think the mystery classification is fair and can be  misleading.
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This was a beautiful book about grief, love, forgiveness, humanity, and family. It was much different than I expected. I think I thought there was a thriller aspect involved, however that was not the case and I’m glad for it. I loved the characters of Evangeline, Isaac, and Lorrie. It was interesting how the author told the backstory alternating between Evangeline’s and one of the dead boys voices,. This book did make me cry at one point which I was also not expecting! My only tiny critique is that the teen voices at times were more adult-like than they should have been. Overall, a great read. Grateful for the chance to read it.
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Heartbreaking and hope giving, this is a love story about broken people who find love in unexpected loss.
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Well paced thriller with an interesting cast of characters and a dip into the world of the contemporary Quaker religion.  A great choice for book groups that discovers themes of grief, loyalty and love.
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What Comes After by Joanne Tompkins is a beautiful story about loss and healing in a remote area of coastal Washington state. The story begins in the aftermath of the tragic deaths of two teenage boys. Both neighbors and single parents, Issac and Lorrie have recently lost their sons, one by murder and one by suicide. Evangeline, a mysterious teenage girl, who has appeared outside of Issac’s house pregnant and abandoned by her mother. Encouraged by his Quaker religious beliefs, he takes in Evangeline and cares for her. The story is told in multiple perspectives, that of Issac, Evangeline, and brief sections from Lorrie’s deceased son, Jonah. Slowly we learn about their past relationships, how and why Jonah and Daniel died, and why Evangeline has come to Isaac’s home. Each character is layered and complex. You don’t always like their actions or words, but you understand them. What Comes After was a heavy, but beautiful and moving story. 

Thank you Penguin Group / Riverhead Books and NetGalley for providing this ARC.
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Not a mystery but a great character driven story

I liked the writing style and the characters created. I enjoyed learning about the Quaker religion. I found it very interesting (except in relation to the epilogue 🤨). 

There is a lot of sadness crammed into this story. It also alludes to many mysteries that were fairly predictable. It definitely is a slow burn and perhaps unnecessarily longer than it needed to be. All that aside, I found myself looking forward to getting back to it each time I put it down. I will look forward to the next story by this author. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and PENGUIN GROUP Riverhead for a copy in exchange for a review.
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The heartbreaking story 9f the aftermath of 2 teenage boys --- one murdered, one suicide.
The characters left behind experience loss, grief, anger and forgiveness.
This is a very emotional and moving novel.
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[4.5 stars] 

This highly literary, but also propulsive debut novel begins immediately following the death of 2 teenage boys, which tore apart their Washington State community. In the aftermath, a pregnant teenager (Evangeline) becomes involved with the 2 boys’ families. Tompkins' background encountering trauma as a trial lawyer, judicial officer, and mediator inspired her to write this story exploring anger and grief, but also of growth and forgiveness. There is a suspenseful mystery, but it lies in the background of what is ultimately a character-driven story. And, reading this story felt a bit like going on a therapeutic journey without the actual therapy.
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I cannot tell you how excited I was to get an early copy of this book to review. I loved the synopsis and the author really delivered with this novel. I thought the characters were amazing and so well-developed and I loved the setting, being from the PNW myself.
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This is a truly impressive debut novel - and one that is a definite tearjerker! The book opens not long after the murder-suicide of two high school seniors - two boys who had been neighbors and friends in their small Washington state town. Split across three narrators, Isaac is a Quaker and the father of the murdered boy, Daniel, while Evangeline, a pregnant teen who encountered both boys just before their deaths is left abandoned in town and the third voice comes from Jonah - the other dead boy. But Jonah's not the only one to reveal the "before" leading up to the opening events. 

It's genuinely an emotional read on many levels. There were sections that had me actually sobbing (dog-lovers beware, there are deaths here - and a lot on the frailties of an aging larger dog which is just heartbreaking all on its own). The book deals with complicated emotions, complex relationships and also reveals more about the Quaker faith than I was previously aware. It's a character-driven story of both the aftermath and the beforehand. It's about love, friendship and forgiveness. I can definitely see why this is an April Book of the Month Club choice - it would certainly make for a good discussion starter!

The book has an almost timeless feel to it in many ways, without many mentions of technology or pop culture. Although some of this makes the teen portions a little harder to believe, that's not the only thing that defies belief. Evangeline's non-official living status and other scenes with authorities, while explained away by the small town still seem unlikely. Health insurance issues alone seem like many red flags would be raised... but other than that, I really couldn't tear myself away from this. Parts of the plot are easier to see coming than others, it all builds with an emotional tension that makes these characters not only come fully to life, but also makes this a truly riveting read!
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This book holds a lot within its pages, but inside all of that lot, there’s also so much human struggling and truth, and it was also deeply satisfying in a number of ways. 

What comes after starts in the shadow of Daniel and Jonah, two teenage boys and friends who are now dead. Daniel’s father and Jonah’s mother and sister are neighbors and Evangeline a girl who knew both boys before their death. 

These three are unlikely to be close, and yet Evangeline shows up and forces questions to be asked. Isaiah, Daniel’s father is a Quaker and that spirituality informs his journey through grief and understanding and self-awareness. Lorrie brings her own pain and history. Every character in this story brings brokenness and trauma into the story, and that trauma is allowed to exist within the pages, yet hope is always there as well. I really enjoyed this book.
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