Afta-U

Afta-U

by Jennifer-Lynn Keniston

Paperback

$16.99

Overview

Michael's smile broadened. “It seems like you're surprised to see me, Jean. Don't tell me you thought that they'd leave an eleven-year-old boy locked away forever.”

Twenty-nine years after the tragic death of her childhood best friend, Hope, Jean Cartwright Rhodes returns to her hometown with her husband and daughter after she inherits the house her friend's family once lived in. Now, years later, she finds herself haunted by a dark truth — and by the specter of Hope herself.
Every time Jean looks through her kitchen window, she sees two stark reminders of her troubled past; the Afta-U sailboat, ironically named after young Hope, and the old oak tree where her eleven-year-old friend met her death at the hands of another child.
Afta-U unfolds as a psychological chess match, a complex web of intrigue, unexpected relationships, lies, and devastating secrets as Jean struggles with the impact of decisions she made long ago on all the lives around her. When Jean confronts and tries to come to grips with Hope's killer, she finds herself waging a personal battle between madness and redemption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680284270
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, L.L.C.
Publication date: 11/24/2015
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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Afta-U 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
As a young child Jean loses her best friend Hope during a childish game. A young boy who is also playing takes this tragedy to the next level. Now years later Jean is still living a traumatized life. She sees her friends ghost daily and she also replays her life and this causes her to have trouble moving on from a horrible past. Now as she is older she begins to unlock many secrets about the past of her murdered friend and her friends family. As the story unfolds more secrets and lies unfold. The story is a web of secrets, lies, betrayal, and hope for a better future.   This book was really good. Poor Jean is haunted by the past and this story is a haunting reminder of her past mistakes. It was chilling and sad. It was a crime book, but at the same time this book was very psychological. It was a well thought out and well written book. From the beginning it had me enthralled. The story of Jean, Hope, their families, and the town they grew up in kept me in suspense and kept me reading. This book was very hard to put down.  I will definitely be recommending this book for any reader who loves a good suspenseful, psychological, and haunting read. This is a book that I will remember for a long time to come....Stormi 
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Have you ever looked back at your life.. at some of the decisions you've made along the way ...and wondered what your life would be now if you had made different decisions? Would your life be better or worse? What if those decisions adversely affected lots of people around you? That is what confronts Jean Rhodes. Its been many years since the catastrophic death of her childhood best friend. She and her husband and daughter move back to her hometown into the very house her friend had lived in. Looking through her kitchen window she sees the ghostly figure of her friend ... and the tree where she lost her life at the hands of another child. Afta-U is the sailboat named after her friend. Jean's past is fast gaining on her. She has to confront her past decisions and tackle her friend's killer. What exactly is the truth? Who really killed her friend? Did she lie about what she knows? Was it a decision made by herself in the days after her friend's death the reason he finds herself now waging a personal battle between madness and redemption? This is a well-written psychological thriller. There are many surprises, twists and turns, that the reader doesn't see coming. It's evident that a lot of thought went into the character building of Jean in the present ...and in the past. The book is dark in some places, yet sprinkled with short Christian messages. This is the debut novel by this author ... and it's a good one. I look forward to see what she writes in the future. I chose to read Afta-U and all opinions expressed are unbiased and entirely my own. Many thanks to the author / Word Slinger Publicity who provided a print issue in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Emory More than 1 year ago
Skilled Writer Crafts Moving Story of a Haunting Childhood Jennifer-Lynn Keniston is a very good writer but even more important she is an excellent story teller. The author’s first book, “Afta-U,” is a story that catches your attention immediately and just when you think you understand the plot it takes a new twist as new information and new feelings are uncovered. “Afta-U” is the story of Jean Cartwright Rhodes, on the surface a happy, contented mother of a smart and perky teenager, Meg, and a loving husband that provides for all her needs. Yet, Jean is haunted by incidents of her past when she was just a young girl. In her present life she is haunted almost daily with the ghost appearance of her best early childhood friend, Hope, dressed in a white confirmation dress. Events happen that force Jean to face the past she is trying to escape, and each time she is ridden with even more guilt about her role in a game played by children that ended up in tragedy. This is a fascinating story with heavy psychological overtones, quests for forgiveness and to forgive, and the expansion of spiritual faith that Jean doesn’t always rely upon. After a couple chapters I could not put the book down but fortunately did not lose a lot of sleep as “Afta-U” is only 210 pages. So you can, and will want to, read it in one sitting. Keniston’s first novel is a terrific read. I can only hope that she produces a second and third in the near future.
WriterJohn1960 More than 1 year ago
How do we survive horrible trauma and learn to live with our own actions surrounding that traumatic event? What do we do with the secrets and lies that often imprison some of us in a kind of psychological hell? Can we learn to put the past behind us and embrace the true beauty of each moment? Are there certain individuals who are inherently evil and how do we respond to their actions? Can we actually perceive the ghosts/spirits of departed souls? These are just some of the central questions at the heart of the Jennifer-Lynn Keniston magnificent debut novel, “Afta-U.” Keniston’s novel is written as a sort of long letter to her childhood best friend, Hope, but feels at many times like it was written as an answer to the aforementioned philosophical questions. The main plot takes place after the death of Hope during a highly dangerous childhood game which goes awry and the murderous actions of one of the neighborhood friends, Michael. It’s a book of secrets and lies and asks us how we can find redemption and a “clean slate” after so many awful truths are revealed. It’s intriguing, compelling, suspenseful and full of Christian spirituality that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the final sentence. Keniston, a writer of great promise and the owner of her own company, is a graduate of both Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. Indeed, this book is set in both states and has such a New England flavor to it you may find yourself craving a seafood dinner while reading it. The narrator, Jean Cartwright Rhodes, has returned to her hometown of Graytown, Massachusetts, twenty nine years after the tragic, traumatic death of her best friend, Hope. Jean and her family have inherited a home in the same neighborhood where she grew up. The move brings Jean back into the heart of the nightmare that defined her childhood, and opens a Pandora’s box of memories and kept secrets that haunt her. It also bring back the “specter” of Hope. Like all great novels, the basic plot entwines itself with the vivid memory of the tragic day when Hope died, and the events that twist like vines around the brutal facts of Hope’s death. After Hope’s mother commits suicide, Jean discovers the body and a suicide note, which remains unopened until many years later. A childhood friend charged with Hope’s murder re-emerges from juvenile detention and obscurity to further haunt Jean. And all the while, a sailboat named “Afta-U” sits leaning against an ominous old oak tree where Hope breathed her last breath. This novel is filled with references to Scripture and each chapter is preceded by prescient poetry written by the author to help enhance the plot and guide the reader as more truths are revealed. But the central theme are the battles waged every day of our lives between good and evil, fate and free will, right and wrong and living in the past and embracing the here and now. It is a thoroughly draining, yet still satisfying consideration of how a single moment in time can either keep us prisoners to our past or help us learn from mistakes and live a long, full life. The book’s end feels like a victory for the narrator and for the reader, as the author ties up many of the loose ends, and the “Afta-U” is moved, just as we are, to a more appropriate place than leaning against an old oak tree. As Jean states, “I was filled with a new sense of hope, awakened to the possibilities of life beginning again."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
‘I decided to give up any sense of fear and embrace your presence, to welcome my time alone with a very old friend.’ New Hampshire author Jennifer-Lynn Keniston, originally from Massachusetts, lights a fire with a slow burn that takes the reader through tale of mystery, suspense, a hefty flavor of New England, and a satisfying infusion of spiritual concerns in this her debut novel. Her background includes a Master of Arts degree in English, from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a concentration in writing and a minor in philosophy, from Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. Her day job is as a project manager for a company providing cloud software products for call centers at small, medium, and enterprise companies, and as of last year she started her own business, Ansel Resume Resolution Services LLC, writing resumes and cover letters. The tenor of this new novel is so rich that it is at least likely as not that Jennifer-Lynn will embrace writing novels full time! Jennifer-Lynn comments on her thoughts: ‘The title is personal; Afta-U was the name of the Flying Scot sailboat owned by my maternal grandfather. The story details everything that happens after the death, at the age of 11, of a little girl named Hope. Hope’s best friend Jean, who is now almost 40, narrates the story. The Afta-U is both a literal and figurative boat that quietly immortalizes Hope, since Jean is haunted by her past and hasn’t come to terms with it.’ And from that brief thought the successful manner in which Jennifer-Lynn suffuses mystery with spirituality is evident. The story synopsis pulls us in – ‘Michael’s smile broadened. “It seems like you’re surprised to see me, Jean. Don’t tell me you thought that they’d leave an eleven-year-old boy locked away forever.” Twenty-nine years after the tragic death of her childhood best friend, Hope, Jean Cartwright Rhodes returns to her hometown with her husband and daughter after she inherits the house her friend’s family once lived in. Now, years later, she finds herself haunted by a dark truth – and by the specter of Hope herself. Every time Jean looks through her kitchen window, she sees two stark reminders of her troubled past; the Afta-U sailboat, ironically named after young Hope, and the old oak tree where her eleven-year-old friend met her death at the hands of another child. Afta-U unfolds as a psychological chess match, a complex web of intrigue, unexpected relationships, lies, and devastating secrets as Jean struggles with the impact of decisions she made long ago on all the lives around her. When Jean confronts and tries to come to grips with Hope’s killer, she finds herself waging a personal battle between madness and redemption.’ But what a synopsis cannot capture is the lyrical beauty of Jennifer-Lynn’s writing, mixing poetry with prose in a manner that enhances the atmosphere of this splendid tale. Jennifer-Lynn Keniston has the markings of a significant writer, one unafraid to embrace her spiritual beliefs while relating a story that holds a rich body of detail and refreshing ideas.