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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
368 pages
Oct 2007
Tyndale House Publishers

After the Leaves Fall

by Nicole Baart

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Sometimes it takes losing everything in order to see what has been there all along, and that’s exactly what happens in Nicole Baart’s debut novel, After the Leaves Fall.  A young girl, Julia Bakker, struggles through the pain of never having her absentee mother’s love, the loss of losing her father to cancer when she needs him most, and the hurt of a love affair that is one-sided.  She finds herself running away from her problems and into the path she thinks she wants.  When college life doesn’t go quite as planned, she returns home to discover how much more clearly she can see when the only direction left to look is up.    

In this deep and moving story told from Julia’s perspective, the chapters seem almost like journal entries on key events in her life, but are told with such poetic description it’s hard not to feel every ounce of emotion Julia feels.  The author does a marvelous job of drawing the audience in from page one as she describes, with clarity and vivid detail, the emotions a 15-year-old girl feels as she stands with her grandmother at her father’s graveside.  Julia is so realistic it’s not only hard to believe she is a fictional character, but that this is only Nicole Baart’s first novel.  The only disappointing factor is that you’ll have to wait for the sequel in order to tie up some of the loose ends.   

After the Leaves Fall is so emotionally gripping and true to life, readers will find it hard to put down and even harder to forget.  The message—that all the bad stuff that happens to us ultimately makes us stronger and causes us to be brought closer to a loving God—is something that certainly rings true. Whereas this book is most definitely not fluff, it is inspiring and, ultimately, a feel-good novel.  I would recommend this to women in their teenage years and older, especially to those who are looking for a good cry or a novel that will make readers think. – Shannon Potelicki, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

For anyone who’s ever wanted to start over . . .

Julia DeSmit’s life has been marked by loss. After her mother leaves and her father dies when she’s just sixteen, Julia is determined to escape the confines of her gossipy, conservative Christian town.

When her best friend and first love, Thomas, breaks her heart, Julia leaves for college—the perfect place to reinvent herself. But one wrong decision changes her forever, and she returns to her grandmother’s farm, weary and defeated.

Yet hope takes root in unexpected places, and Julia discovers that starting over looks nothing like she imagined.