After Isaac, by Avra Wing | Book Review
By Avra Wing
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 219 pages
Publisher: Olinville Press (2013)
What to expect: Death of a sibling, recovery, adoption, family dynamics.
Aaron Saturn is sixteen years old and having a hard time. His little brother, Isaac, died a year ago, and he just can’t cope. He’s grumpy, he’s dropped out of his beloved baseball, and he hasn’t had a decent conversation with his parents in months.
But his mom is creeping back out of her shell, venturing down to the flea market to making new friends, and his Dad is making jokes again. Things are beginning to lighten at home, and Aaron lets himself notice a pretty girl at school named Emma. But just as he begins to feel somewhat normal again, his parent’s yank the rug from under his unsteady feet—they want to adopt a little girl from China. Guilt-stricken and terrified about what this could mean for the memory of his little brother, Aaron digs in his heels. No one can replace Isaac. Not even a cute little orphan from China.
Aaron must find it within himself to reconcile his sense of loss with the glimmer of hope a new child could bring to his parents, and eventually, hope for him to move on with.
This deeply felt, emotional book is a beautiful glimpse into painful family dynamics, and how a sixteen-year-old boy can come to terms with the complexities of love and loss. An excellent read for teens and adults alike.
Add this book to your collection: After Isaac
About the Author
Avra Wing is the author of the novel Angie, I Says, which was made into the movie Angie starring Geena Davis and James Gandolfini. She is also a poet: her poetry collection, Recurring Dream, won the 2011 Pecan Grove Press Chapbook Competition, and she’s published poems in numerous literary magazines. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, and her memoir, Doorway on the Mountain, is available at OnlineOriginals.com. Avra’s work teaching creative writing for the New York Writers Coalition was recognized with a grant from Poets and Writers. She also taught for 10 years as an adjunct professor of English at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she and her husband raised three (wonderful) children.