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Aftermath   By: (1849-1925)

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Aftermath by James Lane Allen is a captivating piece of fiction that delves deep into the complexities of human relationships and the aftermath of tragedy. Set in a small town in Kentucky during the late 19th century, this novel explores the lasting effects of a devastating event and its ripple effects throughout the community.

The story centers around the Duncan family, who are torn apart by a tragic accident that takes the life of their youngest son. Allen skillfully portrays the profound grief and guilt experienced by each family member in the wake of this harrowing event. Through his rich and vivid descriptions, he conveys the heavy weight of loss that hangs over the characters, leaving them struggling to find solace and redemption.

One of the strengths of Aftermath lies in Allen's ability to depict the intricate dynamics between individuals. He provides readers with a deep understanding of how tragedy can both unite and drive a wedge between people. The various relationships within the Duncan family are realistic and complex, portraying the raw emotions that come with the aftermath of a traumatic event.

In addition to the interpersonal dynamics, Allen also skillfully explores the impact of the tragedy on the wider community. The novel sheds light on how a small town responds to tragedy, with the gossip, judgment, and support that inevitably follow. Allen's attention to detail in portraying the community's reaction adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, further engaging readers in the story.

Furthermore, Allen's prose is elegant and evocative, painting a vivid picture of the Kentucky countryside and the emotional landscape of his characters. From lush descriptions of nature to detailed expressions of the characters' inner turmoil, his writing is both poetic and emotionally resonant. This combination not only enhances the overall reading experience but also allows readers to connect deeply with the characters and their struggles.

However, the novel does have some flaws. The pacing, at times, can be slow, with certain parts feeling somewhat stagnant. Allen's extensive descriptions, though beautifully crafted, may occasionally bog down the narrative, making it a challenge to maintain momentum. Moreover, some readers may find the ending unsatisfying, as it leaves certain plot threads unresolved.

Overall, Aftermath is a deeply moving and poignant novel that delves into the aftermath of tragedy on both personal and communal levels. James Lane Allen's prose transports readers to a bygone era and ensures that the characters' struggles resonate long after the final page is turned. While it may not be without its flaws, this book is a compelling exploration of grief, guilt, and ultimately, the human capacity for healing and redemption.

First Page:

E text prepared by Al Haines


Part Second of A Kentucky Cardinal



Author of The Blue Grass Region of Kentucky , Flute and Violin , etc.



This to her from one who in childhood used to stand at the windows of her room and watch for the Cardinal among the snow buried cedars.


I was happily at work this morning among my butterbeans a vegetable of solid merit and of a far greater suitableness to my palate than such bovine watery growths as the squash and the beet. Georgiana came to her garden window and stood watching me.

"You work those butterbeans as though you loved them ," she said, scornfully.

"I do love them. I love all vines."

"Are you cultivating them as vines or as vegetables?"

"It makes no difference to nature."

"Do you expect me to be a vine when we are married?"

"I hope you'll not turn out a mere vegetable. How should you like to be my Virginia creeper?"

"And what would you be?"

"Well, what would you like? A sort of honeysuckle frame?"

"Oh, anything! Only support me and give me plenty of room to bloom."

I do not always reply to Georgiana, though I always could if I chose. Whenever I remain silent about anything she changes the subject.

"Did you know that Sylvia once wrote a poem on a vegetable?"

"I did not... Continue reading book >>

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