I got this hardbound copy from an Instagram giveaway of the author. I read this last month but was unable to post a review.
As the title says, the story is about the events that came after the escape of Charlotte from her kidnapper. What happened to her and her family when she comes home. How her family took the pain of her being gone. How they are healing now that she's with them. Be prepared for the onslaught of tears and emotions this story will invoke. It is advised to have a box of tissues handy or a towel. If you have heart problems, be sure to take your medication before reading or keep it within reach. You will never be the same after this story. Believe me!
I was never prepared for what this story has in store. I was accosted with shock, pain and more pain while reading this book. Call me a masochist for crying so hard while reading this story yet loving it. I loved that this story touched the innermost chambers of my heart. It was so brutal and honest that truth hits me right at the diaphragm. The pain radiates to the deepest marrow of my bones. I was thankful and I pray that I will never have to go through this experience in this lifetime or the next. Never! I don't think I will ever survive this kind of horror and torment, whether I am in Charlotte's shoes or those that mourn her loss. This experience wrecked havoc in all the lives of all the people involved. Pain and destruction that has no way of ever coming back from it. Not even death is enough payment to ease the torment.
Have you ever lost nights of sleep because you were worried about a lost possession? Like your favorite book, favorite toy, shirt or favorite pen? It's tormenting not being able to figure out where you last left it, right? How much more if you lost a person? A sister, a friend or a child? Can you imagine the excruciating pain? The pain of not knowing what happened to that loved one. At least, in death, no matter how painful, there is some semblance of finality or closure. But without a body, the mind can come up with a thousand possible scenarios that is enough to induce a heart attack just thinking about them. And when that lost person is found, can we just move on and pick up where we left off? Can we pretend like years or months or nights of sleep were not lost at all? Can we just go back to our routines and habits right before the incident? Can we perform business as usual just like a modern office with disaster and emergency measures in place? All these difficult questions were answered in this story and more. This is a devastating book. This will destroy you and then will try to put you back together as the story comes to an end. It's hopeful, yet you will never be the same way again before you picked this up.
I give this book 5/5 pink teddy bears. I don't think words are enough to describe how this story wrung out my heart in a hundred ways. My chest vibrated with the intensity of the emotions and I feared it might explode and turn my heart into confetti. You have to read and experience this book. This will have you weeping like a three-year old who got lost in the supermarket aisle and don't know what to do and just wail out for your Mama with all the strength your small lungs can muster. I guess, for the same reason, I was not able to write a review right away because of the tornado of emotions that was just too much. It had to calm down first before I could put them into coherent words.
Thank you so much, Clara Kensie for this book. It was a tragic yet uplifting read. This book reminds us that everything can change drastically with one tragic event. In one instant, nothing is the same and pain settles in like a stubborn squatter that has no intention of leaving or abating. The kind of pain that makes everything without sense or purpose. It also speaks of the vulnerability and capacity of a person to bear the pain of loss, whether death or like in this story--a missing person. The idea of not knowing what happens to that missing loved one tears and breaks a person to the point of no return. The hell the family has to go through is indescribable and destructive. It breaks the spirit, families, relationships and dreams apart. There is no easy way of moving on and how to go about it is a question that's worth a million bucks.
Do it double, because some can't do it at all.
- Clara Kensie, Aftermath -