After the Fire (Red Cedar Book)

After the Fire by Becky Citra
If you like realistic fiction, you will like this book.

I am a fan of Becky Citra’s writing so I knew I would end up enjoying this book. Still at first I wasn’t sure if it was going to work for me. Thankfully, it didn’t take long til I was completely captivated. So much so that I read this book while walking to and from school. In fact while reading on the bus I missed my stop and had to walk back. (Of course I read while I walked back to my stop!)

It is the story of 11 year old Melissa, her little brother, Cody, and their mother, Sharlene. Sharlene has not been the best mother, but is trying to turn her life around. Melissa doesn’t trust her. She has been let down too many times before. She wants to go to art camp, but Sharlene intends to take the family on a month long summer vacation to a remote cabin on a lake. Melissa is a shy loner who has never had a friend. Her mother is an exuberant extrovert who makes friends of nearly everyone. There is tension between them. Will Melissa ever forgive her mother?

Melissa doesn’t want to go, but really has no choice. At the lake, she meets a girl named Alice. Alice becomes Melissa's first best friend. In their time at Dar Wynd, an island in the lake, she encourages Melissa to be braver and to take risks. Alice seems to enjoy Melissa's less than perfect family. Melissa wishes she could have Alice's life, but Alice has secrets of her own and is not quite what she seems.

You will have to read the book to find out how it ends, but I will tell you that I came to care for all the characters and was very satisfied by this book. It is a fine story about friendship, family, and overcoming tragedy. Becky Citra didn’t let me down.

Choosing my favourite red cedar club is going to be very hard this year. They are all turning out to be great reads!

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