Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I want it Wednesday

In today's spotlight is After the Moment. It sounds like a book my students, and I, would enjoy.

Summary: Leigh Hunter, 17, moves from New York to Washington, DC, to help his stepsister Millie cope with the death of her father. Maia Morland, a recovering anorexic and self-mutilator, eats her meals with the Hunters as part of her recovery. At first Leigh wants only to keep her safe but finds himself falling in love. He eats so that she will eat. She's raped (and filmed) by three prep-school classmates on his one night away from DC. In the background, bombs drop on Baghdad, and Leigh discovers that nations, like preppies, can justify anything. The author's feel for character and voice has never been better, and Leigh narrates with deep intelligence and heightened feeling. He's a complex and fully fleshed out protagonist. Millie is an especially vivid supporting character—precocious and hyper-verbal, wide-eyed yet cosmopolitan. Maia, however, around whom so much of the narrative revolves, sometimes seems too lightly drawn. She's clearly tortured and is ultimately unreachable.

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