17 September 2009


by Sue Lawson

black dog books. Australian, Young Adult. Paperback rrp $18.99

What happens when you can’t live with before?

I very rarely get emotional when reading a book but late last night, while everyone was asleep, the tears flowed freely down my cheeks! Wow! What a book!

After is about Callum James Alexander, or CJ to his friends. When he did have friends. Callum has been banished by his mother to his grandparents’ farm in the country, away from his inner city school, friends, computer, mobile and his mother and her partner. Callum is angry, upset, confused and comes to the grandparents, whom he has never met, with a lot of emotional baggage.

What could he have possibly done to deserve this punishment? That was the question I kept asking all the way through to the end.

Callum’s grandmother dislikes him. His grandfather tries to help but Callum doesn’t want help. He doesn’t think he needs any. Everything is all his fault anyway. Everything!

Callum ends up going to the local school, a combined primary and high school, a small country school. He doesn’t want to fit in. He wants to be left alone. But the local footy hero, Jack, and the boy who isn’t quite right, Luke, won’t let that happen. Jack wants to antagonise and Luke to befriend.

Callum just wants to forget. Will the move to the country really help? And why is it everyone in the small town knows more about Callum and his family than Calllum does?

After is a book to be read in one sitting. I just HAD to find out about Callum’s past and about the town’s past. Keep the stories coming!

Lawson’s Finding Darcy was reviewed in Issue 9 of the Reading Stack.



  1. Thank you for the terrific review...sorry about the tears! Had the same effect on me when I was writing it!

    Sue Lawson

  2. Finding Darcy and After are two books that I just have to keep in my book case and hopefully, one day, my teenagers will see what the big fuss is about, plus I can get to read a good story AGAIN. Thank YOU, Sue.