After the Leaves Fall
Tyndale, Oct 2007, $12.99
When Julia Bakker was nine years old, her mom left her and her dad; no big deal as she had deserted them mentally long before she finally packed her bags. When she was fifteen, her father died after a long illness slowly debilitated him. Julia is left with her grandmother on the family farm. A year later Julia falls in love with Thomas, but he has a girlfriend at college. Soon after that Julia leaves for college, but though she plans to reinvent herself, she makes bad decisions that force her to return home where her loving grandma offers hope.
AFTER THE LEAVES FALL is a fascinating spiritual coming of age tale. Julia is a deep character who learns life’s lessons the hard way as she ran off to college to escape her unhappiness only to go full circle as she learns how supportive and loving her grandma is. Although her emotional change appears abrupt and intended more for a sequel than a climax, young adult fans will appreciate this deep teen character study.