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It was a girl in a red bathing suit, standing waist deep. She had long blond hair that hung down her back and a thin pointed face. She didn't look at all surprised to see Melissa. In fact, Melissa thought afterwards, it was as if she had expected her.
Posted July 16, 2010
When Melissa's mother tells her they will be moving, it doesn't come as a big surprise. They've never stayed anywhere very long, so she figured it was just a matter of time. The surprise is that they are moving to a larger apartment, but first they will be vacationing at a cabin on a lake.
It all sounds exciting, but Melissa had her heart set on going to a summer art camp she heard about at school. What will it be like at some lonely cabin with just her mother and her little brother, Cody? Melissa isn't used to her mother doing anything with Cody and her. For years, all Melissa can remember is her mother's drinking and a string of her unpleasant boyfriends. Her mother has been promising that life was going to be different, but nothing seems to change.
Memories of a terrible fire in their house trailer still give Melissa nightmares. It's true that since then her mother has stopped drinking, has a good job, and doesn't have a boyfriend. Maybe there is hope for a better life.
When they arrive at the lake cabin, any worry about loneliness disappears when Melissa meets Alice. Alice's invitation to her secret tree house on an island in the middle of the lake gives Melissa plenty of activity every afternoon. She learns about Alice's family, her interest in fantasy and writing, and also how she seems a bit strange and mysterious at times. Some of their experiences together are a little unsettling for Melissa, but her desire for friendship causes her to dismiss the concerns as minor issues. After all, she should know - no one's life is perfect
AFTER THE FIRE is a story of healing and change. Author Becky Citra shares the story of two girls whose lives have been complicated by tragedy. Each has learned to cope in her own individual way, and both must now learn to trust that things can change as life goes on.