The Sweet Hereafter

Russell Banks (1992)

A simple story about a school bus accident on a snowy rural road. The novel focuses on the aftermath of the accident and how the lives of survivors and family members of non-survivors are affected. Told in four distinct voices–the middle-aged woman who drove the bus, the father of two children killed in the crash, a lawyer hired to sue the responsible parties and a young girl left paralyzed by the accident.

In each telling of the event, personal secrets are revealed and the motivation of each character, misunderstood by those around them, is made clear to the reader. A touching book that stayed with me long after I’d finished it.

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