The Beginning of After
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The Beginning of After is a story of hope and healing from Jennifer Castle, a powerful new voice in teen fiction.
When Laurel’s family dies in a horrific car accident, she struggles to put her life back together. She is now connected to David Kaufman, who lives down the block, and who lost his mother in the same crash. Both of their lives change—but not in the ways that they thought…
Castle blends tragedy with romance, teen angst, and wit in The Beginning of After, a bittersweet, powerful debut novel that stands as a testament to how people can survive the unthinkable.
Twenty - one Chapter Twenty - two Chapter Twenty - three Chapter Twenty - four Chapter Twenty - five Chapter Twenty - six Chapter Twenty - seven Chapter Twenty - eight Chapter Twenty - nine Chapter Thirty Chapter Thirty - one Chapter Thirty - two Chapter Thirty - three Chapter Thirty - four Chapter Thirty - five Chapter Thirty - six Chapter Thirty - seven Chapter Thirty - eight Epilogue Acknowledgments About the Author Credits
canvas. “This is the town square wall you sketched out before”— he tripped up for a moment—“last time. Do you think you could tackle it?” Sam usually liked to be the one to paint on my sketches. It always felt like he was grabbing credit for the things I drew, but I couldn’t do anything about it because he was a senior and in charge and I didn’t want to be a whiny tattletale. Now I smiled and said, “Just leave it to me.” The next day, at my locker, taking too long to switch out my books
a lot of people here. That’s good, right? Doesn’t everyone always wonder who would show up to their funeral? So now you know. If you’re watching. I’d like to think you’re watching, but just in case you’re not, here are the highlights: Dad’s college friends Tom and Lena reading a poem they wrote together. Toby’s music teacher, Ms. McAndrew, singing “Amazing Grace.” Did somebody not tell her this was a Jewish funeral? But it did sound pretty. Mom, your friend Tanya reading an Emily Dickinson
looked hurt and exposed for a moment, her eyes wide and unblinking. But then she said, “You’re probably right.” “Nana, I’m okay to stay on my own. I want you to do what you need to do. Because you need to do it.” She just nodded, tearing up. “Besides, Meg can always stay over if I need her to. Or who knows, maybe David will still be our houseguest.” I said that part as casually as I could. I didn’t want her to think I wanted that, because I didn’t even know if I wanted that. Nana dabbed at
my mom and dad and Toby, but also about that day, when I was able to measure how far I’d come by looking at the people who had helped me get there. And it was in front of the Village Deli, as I’d suggested. Which was convenient, because Meg and I had come today to buy sandwiches for my trip. I was leaving at one o’clock sharp for the drive to Ithaca. Freshman orientation at Cornell started the next day. Cornell, where I could take pre-veterinary courses and art courses, and see what further