Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dan Walsh's What Follows After ~ Reviewed

By Dan Walsh
Published by Revell
320 Pages


In October 1962, Colt Harrison and his little brother, Timmy, hatched a plan. They would run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Savannah, Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents got back together. But things go terribly, terribly wrong. Colt's mother and father must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their broken marriage.

In this emotional story, Dan Walsh takes readers on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family.


I’m thankful for a review copy of a book that dropped me into 1962. Life and society were different then. The author says, “Many things about the “Camelot Years” of Jackie and JFK were not what they seemed. Certainly, some things were better back then. Even statistics that measure certain aspects of society,… was simpler and it would seem safer (the world blowing up by nuclear annihilation notwithstanding)…serious problems were simmering beneath the surface.” 

Dan continued, “It was interesting to see how life was in 1962. You could sense the undercurrents of a different spirit rising above the one depicted in shows like Leave it to Beaver” or The Dick Van Dyke Show. Life wasn’t as rosy as they were in these shows.” 

The author goes on to state, “Part of the reason I decided to set this book in the early sixties was to explore how the timeless truths of the gospel could have applied on an average American family during this time period… I think a more honest assessment would suggest that many American’s church experiences in the 50’s and 60’s had more to do with the religion of Christianity than a clear understanding of the gospel.” 

“One particular week in 1962 the world almost ended and that’s not an exaggeration. Everyone who lived back then knew it was true. Historians would later say things were even worse than President Kennedy and the politicians had let on. In some ways, even worse than they realized. If God had looked the other way for a single moment, we’d all be dead. Every single one of us.” 

“Of course, the world didn’t end then. But for our family, one part sure did.” 

This novel starts out in the future with Colt Harrison, Timmy’s brother going to visit a house that had been given to him. He wasn’t sure if he could live in this house. His wife says it’s ok if he doesn’t want to retire there. They could sell the house and move somewhere else. 

Memories flood his mind of a horrible day as soon as he enters the front door.  Colt’s remembrances of a Day that changed their family forever invade his mind. Then the book takes readers to October 1962. Colt and his little brother, Timmy have concocted a plan to run away from home to get their parents back together. One small problem Colt hadn’t expected to happen was for Timmy to go missing. 

Colt frantically tries to find Timmy on his own but quickly realizes he needs grown-up help. It was funny to read about how police go about searching for a missing child. It’s not like it is today where the internet can have a Child Alert posted on the highway signs and an email sent nationwide looking for a missing child that would include pictures. There are other ways to get the word out quickly. 

Another thing that struck me was the lack of intimacy and friendship in the marriage and family relationships depicted. I was also surprised to see how employers taxed an employee’s time giving no thought to the man’s family life and/or situation. 

Given the sex trafficking trade and other horrible things that we hear about today this book would have read a lot differently if the setting would have been in current time. But given it was set in 1962 times and situations were very different. It’s an interesting read written with Dan’s style that make readers think about how much has changed for the good not just the bad. As he stated not everything was what it seemed back then.

Reviewed by: Nora :o)
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