Saturday, April 1, 2023

After The Shadows by Amada Cabot REVIEWED

About the Book:

A brighter future awaits--if she can escape the shadows of the past

Emily Leland sheds no tears when her abusive husband is killed in a bar fight, but what awaits her back home in Sweetwater Crossing is far from the welcome and comfort she expected. First she discovers her father has died under mysterious circumstances. Then the house where the handsome new schoolteacher, Craig Ferguson, and his son are supposed to board burns, leaving them homeless. When Emily proposes turning the family home into a boardinghouse, her sister is so incensed that she leaves town.

Alone and broke, her family name sullied by controversy, Emily is determined to solve the mystery of her father's death--and to aid Craig, despite her fears of men. The widowed schoolmaster proves to be a devoted father, an innovative teacher, and an unexpected ally. As they work to uncover the truth, they just may find the key to unlock a future neither could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

"I'm trying to protect you," she said.  (p. 289)

This one, five-word sentence, encapsulates so much about the nuances of this story!  Amanda Cabot is one of my favorite authors simply because she seamlessly weaves multiple story lines together that it takes your breath away when everything comes together!  

When I first started to read this novel, I thought I knew the direction it would take based solely on the relationships with the main family -  Emily Leland and her sisters - and their relationship with the community of Sweetwater Crossing.  That, in itself, was going to be a great read. However, Cabot takes that one thread and weaves in in and out among the life of a grieving widower and his son, the drama of mysterious circumstances around the death of Emily's father, a new pastor coming to town to name just a few!  Everyone in this town is keeping secrets, and that fact alone keeps them blind to a very dangerous presence in their midst!

I could not put this book down!  Every time I thought I was close to figuring out what was going on, Cabot would throw something else in and I'd go off in another direction!  The bottom line is that this novel kept me entertained from first page to last, dealt realistically with timeless issues that need never be hidden, and weaves everything together in a believable and heart-tugging way that will cause you to pause and remember the folks in your own life that are real and truly life-giving.

Thank you, Amanda Cabot, for such a GREAT novel!  I anxiously await the next! 

About the Author: 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of After the Shadows, as well as several historical and contemporary romance series, including Mesquite Springs, Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at