Thursday, July 26, 2012

After the Fog

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1469935708
ISBN-13: 978-1469935706


The sins of the mother… In the mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 “killing smog,” headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she’s created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, and large extended family. When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?

My Thoughts

When I was first approached to review this book, I had never heard of the "killing smog" of Donora. I love learning about historical events so I knew this was probably going to be a very interesting book for me. Before I even received the book in the mail, I was looking up Donora and the horrible smog that enveloped the town. It's both shocking and interesting. Once I received the book and started reading, I was hooked!

After the Fog tells the story of Rose and her family. Rose was raised in an orphanage and has struggled to get to where she is today. She has a husband and two teenage children and she is the community nurse. She juggles being a homemaker while serving the community as the townspeople. In the meantime, the killing smog of 1948 is covering the town making people sick without them even realizing what is happening to them. As Rose tends to the townspeople while trying to secure funding for the Community Nursing Program, her past comes back to haunt her. Rose is challenged in ways she never imagined.

I found Rose to be an amazingly strong woman even though I found her difficult to like at times. At times I found her cold. Other times I felt sorry for her. I did find myself hoping all would turn out well for Rose and her family. I found myself reading After the Fog into the wee hours hours of the morning, just to find out how Rose's story would end.

While reading this book, you can tell that Kathleen Shoop has done much research on Donora and it's killing smog. My hats off to her for writing a great story set in such a horrible, historical event. It made for a great setting for the story. I felt as though I had gone back in time and was walking the smoggy streets of Donora alongside Rose. I got an eerie feeling reading the book which is how I imagined the people of Donora felt at the time. The author nailed the setting perfectly!

I really enjoyed this book and think it would make for a great and interesting book club selection. I have not yet read Kathleen's debt novel, The Last Letter but it is going on my wish list. She is an author I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

About the Author
After the Fog is the second novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011. A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Thank you to Kim from Book Sparks PR for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book!

I received this book for my honest opinion which in no way influenced my review.


  1. I've never heard of the killing smog either. The book sounds fascinating.

  2. I also love reading books that teach me about a particular time in history. This one sounds really good.

  3. I've never heard of this event either. The book sounds really interesting and I'm adding it to my TBR list!

  4. I haven't heard of this historical event either but it sounds fascinating!

  5. Your review makes me curious about this one Beth. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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