East Breed’s Pennsylvania, is the sort of blue-collar town that simmers with barely concealed prejudices. One Friday night, in the parking lot of a chain restaurant, a brutal fight breaks out between the privileged boys from St. Brendan's and a group of kids from the local high school. Casey Fielder, the restaurant's manager, watches the melee but does nothing to stop it. When the fight ends, Colin Chase, a handsome, cocky St. Brendan’s student, is severely brain-damaged.
Haunting and heartbreaking, Aftermath portrays the lasting effects of that night: Casey loses his job and is determined to discover what led to the fight. Lea, Colin’s mother, hopes to reclaim her remote and defiant son. And both of them are drawn to a girl who seems to have played a larger role in Colin’s life than anyone knew.
"Engrossing. . . . A meticulous portrait of the way class works in America. . . . A chronicle of our unforgiving reality, as opposed to our ephemeral dreams."
—The Washington Post Book World
“Compelling. . . . A thoughtful and thought-provoking novel about class and class conflict in small-town Pennsylvania."
—Courier-Post (New Jersey)
“Powerful and moving. . . . An impressive story of loss and love."
—The Kansas City Star
“A moving study of class division and its tension. . . . Often heartbreaking and sometimes shocking, Aftermath is an intense, harrowing look at not only an ugly crime but its agonizing consequences.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
SUBMITTED - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
Brian Shawver is the author of The Cuban Prospect. He received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He teaches creative writing at Missouri State University.