The Sweet Hereafter: SPOILERS GALORE

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse, Sex Abuse

Self is 3/4 of the way through this rather thin novel, but it feels like it’s taking forever. First of all, it is grim. The lawyer was the one bright spot, but he too has his little soap opera story arc: his only child is an addict, sells herself for smack, and calls him while he’s building his case against the bus company, to tell him she needs money bad, and btw Daddy-o, she’s HIV-positive.

On that light note, we leave the lawyer and go into the fifth point of view in this novel: that of Nichole Burnell, the lone survivor, the town beauty queen, who’s now a paraplegic.

It’s bad enough that, as Nichole puts it, “I knew I was as well as I would ever be again, and Dr. Robeson had told me that just to stay like this I would have to work very hard . . . To live like a slug, I was going to have to work like someone trying to become an Olympic ski jumper.”

But that’s not the worst of it, oh no. The worst of it is that DADDY HAS BEEN DIDDLING HER and now she can’t defend herself because she’s a paraplegic in a wheelchair.

This is the point where self is sorely tempted to throw this book at something. Who dreams up a plot like this? There is absolutely no way out, for any of the characters. Nor for the reader either.

Daddy has set up Nichole in her own little room by herself (with sound-proofing). Before, she shared with her younger sister, and he never dared mess with her when her sister was present. But now? omg, and self thought a bus accident that kills 14 children would have been the CLIMAX.

And it’s Thanksgiving. She’s reading this on Thanksgiving. UGH UGH UGH.

Readers, be warned.


2 responses to “The Sweet Hereafter: SPOILERS GALORE”

    • She DID wish she was dead, BEFORE. In a stunning reversal, when she became a paraplegic, then she knew she wanted to live. The strange thing is, in the novel, this reversal makes perfect psychological sense. I just wish she could press charges against her Dad.


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