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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Follows After

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and The Reunion, as well as The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley.  He has won three Carol Awards, ad three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year (2011-2013).  Dan lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

You can learn more about Dan and his writing at

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.  And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie.  While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated fr over a year.  To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie - to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt for one has had enough, so he hatches a plan. he and his little brother will run away from their Florida home head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together.  But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scot and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life - love, truth, and family.  With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows not what we expected at all.

My Thoughts:
This was my first novel by Dan Walsh to read.  I've stated many times here on the blog that I love discovering new authors and their gift and it was a joy to discover Walsh!  Thank you Lanette Haskins and Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) for sending the complimentary copy for the purpose of this review.
Walsh captures the atmosphere and culture of early 60's America well.  He is right on target with his character development and descriptions.  The scenarios are believable and well though out by the author. Walsh's plot development takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions.  As a mother, I hurt for Colt and Timmy.  When a story makes me feel like I felt reading this one, I know I have just added its author to my "favorites" list and know that those books will be added to my keeper shelf.
Consider this statement from the "Author's Note" at the end of the book:
"I think a more honest assessment would suggest that many Americans' church experiences in the fifties and sixties had more to do with the religion of Christianity than a clear understanding of the gospel.  Part of the reason I decided to set What Follows After in the early sixties was to explore how the timeless truths of the gospel could have applied in an average American family during the Leave it To Beaver years.  The things that cause relationships to succeed or fail are not dependent on the society or culture we live in."
Walsh writes a story that will make you feel and will make you think.  When an author writes in such a way that forces me to take an honest assessment of my ideas about a certain era or of my own life...that author has written a 5+ star novel.  Dan Walsh has done that!  Don't miss this one!

Happy Reading,