When Charlotte was eleven, she was kidnapped from a football game. For the past four years, she has been held in her kidnapper’s attic, and raped every night (just warning you, this book is hard core, don’t let that beautiful fantasy cover fool you), sustained only by dreams of her loving family. But now, she has finally escaped. But losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents are divorced, her dad is obsessed with fame, her mother drinks too much, and her sister is a druggie. Her father wants her to write a book and be the figurehead of a new charity and her mother wants her to stay home and be safe, to never have to leave the house. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped before her, who never got a second chance at life. But nobody but Charlotte believes she ever existed. And until she can get justice for that other girl, even if she has to do it on her own, she will never be free. This book is not a typical book about abuse, all the ones I have read only focus on that horrific event. This book shows the terrible aftermath of these awful crimes, and sheds light on what it is really like to be a victim.
Aftermath is a ripped-from-the-headlines story about survival and healing and the power of family. The thing that really stood out for me is that, despite the situation that Charlotte has endured, this is ultimately a story of hope.
Just be prepared to cry, a lot.