Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world
. . . forever.
Hereafter was an wonderful debut. The only reason this novel received 4 instead of 5 stars was the minor problem of pacing: sometimes fast, sometimes slow, which happens to drive me crazy when I'm reading. The story was a unique and original take on ghosts and wraiths and what that might possibly mean. No spoilers here, but some of Amelia's abilities were particularly fascinating. One thing Hereafter was lacking was a sensible explanation of why she could do some of these things. The character seemed to form half-baked explanations after demonstrating her skills without really wondering about the backstory behind them. Sorry, brief rant. Anyway, I LOVED Joshua, he was completely dreamy and yet earnest and realistic. Overall, a fantastic debut from an author I will definitely be keeping an eye on.