Friday, April 22, 2011

Review of Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

life afterLife, After is a window into a culture and time period that I knew almost nothing about –Argentina during “the Crisis" in the late 1990’s, when the nation’s banks failed.  People left Argentina after losing everything, many of them were Jews who emigrated to Israel, or the US.  Dani’s home life is miserable –her mother works long hours at the hospital to try to support the family after they lost the family business.  Her father is depressed, and only comes out of his depression to yell at Dani and her younger sister.  Her aunt died in a terrorist bombing when Dani was 7, and her father has never gotten over it.  Dani’s best friend left for Israel.  She does have a boyfriend (her novio), but his family decides to move to Miami.  After Dani’s mother was injured in a protest outside her hospital, she finally convinces Dani’s father that they should move to America, too.  Although some parts of the story seem too pat (how quickly Dani makes new friends and finds a new boyfriends in America, and how her dad’s depression lifts so completely once he decides to take medication), I really enjoyed Life, After for it’s portrayal of what life in Argentina was like –the food, the political history, the family values, and the difficulties Dani faces as she tries to fit into a new school in a new country.  Review by Stacy Church