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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
After the Fall by Brad Graber is a well-written story that explores the themes of family, identity, and the importance of being connected, with a strong appeal to readers who enjoy sleuth, adventure, and stories with emotional and psychological depth. Rikki aches to know who her mother is, but her grandmother doesn’t seem to think that knowing her mother - whom she can’t remember - is something to worry about. For Rita, the question of Rikki’s mother is taboo. But a photo album Rikki finds hidden at home, one she pores over in the morning while her grandmother sleeps, may be the key to unlocking the mystery of her past. But clues in the photo album soon get her traveling from New York to Toledo and from Detroit to Phoenix to meet Harry. Will this writer, a man with issues of his own, turn out to be her uncle?
Brad Graber has a great skill for narrative and character. I felt this was going to be an enjoyable ride the moment the story started with Rita and Rikki. The suspense is introduced quickly and the reader is left with questions that need answers, questions that will force them to read on to find the answers: Why can’t Rita tell Rikki the truth about her mother? Can Rikki uncover the truth without the help of her grandmother? These are questions I wrestled with as I followed the story. The protagonist is well-explored, a character in search of her identity and whose drive for truth sets her on a challenging path. After the Fall is an intricately plotted and well-written story with deep human and emotional layers, a sympathetic portrayal of what characters experience when disconnected from their roots. It is a really refreshing read.