The Monday Book: WHAT COMES AFTER by Joanne Tompkins

Janelle Bailey presents the Monday Book this week. Janelle was one of our shopsitters when we were off touring LITTLE BOOKSTORE about, and brought her two youngest daughters along for the fun. We had a blast at the bookstore, between runs to promotions. She is currently Director of the Wisconsin Academic Decathlon at CESA 7.

Over to you, Janelle!

I read this because it was my April Book of the Month Club selection.

This is a very good book.

This little community has been struck by tragedy…doubly or even more. How to recover from it both as individual victims and perpetrators and as a community is no easy task, for anyone. This is especially true when people try to go it alone and by themselves without leaning on each other. People are so self-punishing and so inward when their real healing has to happen outside of themselves as well.

One of the most important characters in this book is Rufus, an old and much loved dog. And another dog, Brody, is important to the story as well, but he’d passed before the story’s action begins.

Tompkins tells this story from the perspectives of Evangeline, Isaac, and Jonah, each with different views and sometimes of the exact same events. While this causes moments of frustration, primarily for the reader, each time the reader sees what they’ve gotten wrong…it’s also so human…that they misconclude, mispresume, and don’t always get things right.

I enjoyed seeing inside of Quaker counseling/healing practices and seeing more of that faith. And I found these characters quite compelling and endearing…very human. I say read it…and let me know what you think.

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