by Carey Jane Clark
December 9, 2011
In the middle of a soccer drill, in an awful, awkward moment, Celia Bennett's eight-year-old son Caleb lands on his face and chest in the grass. The diagnosis blindsides her, bringing her face-to-face with every parent's worst nightmare.
Desperate to save her son’s life, Celia pursues a cure through alternative medicine, but her quest ends in frustration and disappointment. Facing despair, hope walks in on the most unlikely set of legs, when her father returns after a 30-year absence. Can she release pain to embrace hope? Will it make a difference, or is it too late?
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After the Snow Falls is the story of a family suddenly struck with the news that Celia’s son has cancer. As if this isn’t enough to tear a family apart, Celia’s father, who deserted her, comes back into her life. The trials the family faces begins to claw at Celia’s marriage, and her faith. Celia grasps at anything she can to save her son, and keep the family together.
This was a very emotional read, coming from someone who’s family has been struck with cancer many times; it was more than difficult to get through. In an odd sense that’s good and means the emotions were very well portrayed. If this were poorly written, I would be able to zip through it just fine. But the fear, anger, hurt, and love shown in this story are so real, I had to set the book down several times to gain control of my own emotions to be able to continue reading.
The author does a good job of establishing a true bond between the family members, and the pain and powerlessness they feel from their sons diagnoses. Desperate for a cure, Celia takes it upon herself to go to Mexico to seek an alterative therapy to save her son. Here is where it got a little tricky for me. The fact that Celia would do this is no stretch of the imagination. A mother will do just about anything to save their child. But it was Celia’s time in Mexico and the experiences, I thought, could have been a tad more fleshed out than they were. Granted, it was still a great aspect as far as plot twists. But as-is it fell a little shy of the ‘bang’ affected it could have had, had it been a little less rushed.
The book shifts between Celia’s viewpoint and Alfie’s, her father. I wondered at first why the author would do such a wonderful job of pulling us into Celia’s life, only then to pull us out and stick us in Alfie’s. But, as you delve deeper into Alfie’s you begin to see, and appreciate, the connections between the two stories.
Overall this was a very good read for me. It’s an emotional journey, much like real life. The author did a fine job of creating characters that felt true to the story, and ones you feel connected to. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, heartwarming, emotional read.
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