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Anna, St Helen and St Katharine

After the Fire

This book was incredibly heart-wrenching and interesting. I had trouble putting it down. Even though it is one of the longest books, I finished it quicker than another Carnegie books. The plot is carved around a base called ‘the Lord’s Legion’. It is run by the leader (basically dictator), Father John. He claims to be a messenger of the lord, and everyone in the base does what he says. He urges them towards a huge battle, and indeed a fire, which ends with over 15 orphaned and wounded children. There were more than 50 people in the base, and most of them died. This book is written in 1st person, from the perspective of Moonbeam, one of the surviving children. The plot is very unique and interesting, and moves at a good pace. I never had troubles understanding it, and everything is believable. I suppose it is good that the book shows the extreme side of Christianity, which is something not talked about as much in present times. The book had a realistic ending, and I wasn’t questioning parts of it like other Carnegie books I have read.
The characters are all convincing and special. Moonbeam’s voice is unique and well written, and as the book goes on the characters develop and the reader learns more about them. The book is written in chapters named ‘before’ or ‘after’. So the before chapters (before the fire) are about Moonbeam’s time at the base, and the after chapters are about her time in the hospital. When she recalls her times in the base, you learn lots about her friends/family, and is painful when you remember they are dead. In the first few flashback chapters, I thought that it was fairly normal, as in Father John, although being strongly Christian, was more laid back. As you read more about the base, you learn that he was cruel, a dictator and a liar. Most of the after chapters are about Moonbeam’s psycology sessions. It is amazing how much I could learn about Moonbeam’s feelings, and how she dealt with her situation. Also, in these short conversations, I could learn so much about her sometimes-interviewer, and psychologist. I learnt so much about the character of both men, just by simple gestures and words.
I think the style of this book is very special. After something is said to Moonbeam, and she replies, her actual head’s answer is different and written in italics. This mean’s the reader knows a lot more about the conversation that is happening, and the emotions of Moonbeam. There is a lot of dialogue in After the Fire, but I think it is needed and is used effectively. Will Hill creates emotions incredibly and convincingly. There is a small amount of swearing, but that is in the italics of Moonbeam’s thoughts, and indicates her feelings.

So far I have read 5 Carnegie books, and this is definitely my favourite. It is gripping, unique and emotional. I definitely recommend it to all.

Posted on: 23rd April 2018 at 09:30 am

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