EVERY MOMENT AFTER
The debut novel by Joseph Moldover
EVERY MOMENT AFTER follows the survivors of an elementary school shooting through their last summer before moving on to adult life. It begins on the day of high school graduation as students gather for commencement around 18 empty, black-draped chairs, a memorial to their classmates slain eleven years earlier.
The story follows graduating seniors Cole Hewitt and Matt Simpson. Complete opposites, Cole and Matt have nonetheless been best friends from earliest childhood. Both were students in the first-grade classroom ravaged by the shooting, along with their close friend Andy Gerber, who was lost that day.
Cole is the boy in the picture, a survivor who has blotted out all memory of the shooting but whose face is known to the world by virtue of an iconic picture taken as a policeman carried him, blood soaked, from the school. Cole has deferred college to stay home, write poetry, work in the local grocery store, and care for his widowed mother. He is in love with Viola Grey, who is off to the West Coast in the fall…but not before Cole tries to win her heart with the wildest plan he can imagine.
Matt is the boy who wasn’t there, kept home on the day of the massacre by his mother’s tendency to fuss over his diabetes. A star athlete, Matt has a Division I baseball scholarship and the world at his feet, yet he can’t stop thinking about that day. Matt becomes preoccupied with everything connected to the shooting – including the daughter of the policeman in the photo of Cole. He is obsessed with the idea of placing his life in the hands of fate and finding out once and for all whether he was meant to be among the living or the dead.
Cole and Matt stand together at the end of childhoods marked by unthinkable tragedy, on the threshold of adult lives filled with promise. The summer will test their friendship’s ability to bind them to each other against the force of the grief binding them to the past.
FOSTER ROAD – COMING SOON!
Hannah Lynn was born in the wrong town.
A high school junior born on the wrong side of otherwise upscale Evans Beach, Maine, Hannah lives with her father, Larry, a fixture at the Department of Public Works and a local legend who once played in the minor leagues for the Boston Red Sox (and was brought up to the majors for a dozen glorious games). Hannah’s mother died of cancer years ago and her older sister, Pauline, struggles with addiction and is estranged from the family.
Hannah has one goal: to get out of Evans Beach and pursue her mother’s lost dreams. She yearns to leave the materialism and achievement-striving of her peers behind and set out to find a connection with the mom she can barely recall in a place where no one remembers her out-of-control sister, where her father doesn’t need her to pay the electric bill, and where guidance counselors aren’t obsessing about top 25 liberal arts colleges.
Hannah’s life changes one night when Pauline’s two sons are taken by the state after she leaves them alone and assaults a police officer. Larry is unwilling to see his grandsons go into the state foster system and persuades Hannah to support him in taking the boys into their home. As her nephews struggle with their own pain and upend her carefully balanced life, Hannah clings to the thought that their placement is temporary even as she slowly finds herself stepping into the role of their surrogate mother. Along the way Hannah has to navigate her growing feelings toward Richard, the peer tutor who simultaneously intrigues and infuriates her and who has a complicated past of his own. When Pauline’s situation deteriorates further and Larry’s health enters a steep decline Hannah is forced to choose between her own dreams and two children who have worked their way to the center of her world.
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