Book Review: After the Fog
A Nurse’s Obligation
A Town’s Demise
A Mother’s Regret
A Son’s Calling
A Daughter’s Mistake
A Time to Forgive
For every woman who thinks she left her past behind…
Historic, environmental drama wrapped in a love story…
It’s 1948 in the steel town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous “killing smog.” Public health nurse, Rose Pavlesic, has risen above her orphaned upbringing and created a life that reflects everything she missed as a child. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her doting husband, loving children, and large extended family.
When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?
***2013 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist***
***Independent Publisher Awards: 2012 Silver, Best Regional Fiction–Mid-Atlantic***
***National Indie Excellence Awards: 2012 WINNER– Literary Fiction***
Buy the book from…….
About the Author
After the Fog is the second novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011. A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Kathleen has also written award winning Love and Other Subjects and her stories have also appeared in several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
My Review of After the Fog
After the Fog is a gritty story, set in industrial Donora in Pennsylvania, and plenty of that industrial setting comes through. Reading the first few chapters, in the lead up to the “killing smog” descending, left me with the impression that the inhabitants exist in a kind of hazy twilight, such are the effects of the three mills, their soot and the fog they cause.
The main character of the story is Rose, a community nurse fighting for the funding to continue her vital role, whilst trying to hold together her family against the odds of decades-old secrets, a gambling brother-in-law and a useless sister in law. As if that’s not enough, her teenage children are making plans of their own for their futures, casting aside the future Rose has planned for them. Her husband has his own secrets.
Rose is both likeable and controlling in equal measure. Her husband Henry hits on a raw point, when he points out that she might be treating her patients more favourably that her own family:
“Can’t you be as generous with us as you are with your patients? For once. Cut your own family some slack for fuck sakes.”
And that sums her up entirely – at once an incredibly generous, hardworking woman, going out of her way to help others and a controlling matriarch.
I’m not going to describe the rest of the story – that would relieve you of the need to read this great book. Suffice it to say that right from the start, you feel that there is more to know about the main characters, secrets to be uncovered and it leaves you wanting to know what happens to these people.
One thing I would say is that whilst this is described as a romance, it’s really not. There are relationships involved, but it’s not a romantic novel in the usual sense.
A good read, highly recommended.
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.