After the Leaves Fall

Nicole Baart, Author
Nicole Baart, Author . Tyndale $12.99 (358p) ISBN 978-1-4143-1622-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4143-2842-3
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In her promising debut novel, Baart writes compellingly about a young girl's struggle with loss, love, identity and faith. Julia Bakker knows what loss is. Her mother abandoned her, her beloved father died, and her childhood love has gone to college and found another. As a teen, she lives with her saintly grandmother, who urges her to go to church camp, but Julia finds only “quick answers and thrilling conversions” there. Disillusioned, Julia decides it is up to her, not anyone else—“even some impossible, far-flung God”—to reinvent herself. “The truth was, I didn't know who I was, and I was afraid of being defined by who I wasn't. By what I didn't have.... By remembering with predictable, cyclic accuracy all I had lost.” After chronicling her early years, the story follows Julia as she enrolls in college to study engineering and become someone who is “too smart to attach, too independent to want to, and so secure as to be untouchable.” Soon, Julia is repeating her mother's mistakes. The love of her rock-solid Christian grandmother and a newfound (and not completely well-explained) reliance on God help fortify her for the difficult path ahead. Sparkling prose makes this new novel a welcome addition to inspirational fiction. (Oct.)

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