..".Mercer's prose is lucid and her themes of redemption and reinvention are resonant..." - Kirkus Reviews
"Mercer's prose is solid, evoking a strong sense of character and place that adds intensity and texture to the narrative. . . Gwen's and Betta's storylines will appeal to fans of women's fiction, while Ez's narrative will satisfy those looking for a coming-of-age story. Overall, readers who enjoy family sagas will find After They Go an engaging read." -- OnlineBookClub.org
..".each character has a very distinctive voice. Pulling them all together, the author has created an unconventional, emotional story of family..." -- The British Bookworm
"There's plenty of engaging drama. There are lovers, sibling rivalries, petty jealousies and devastating self-doubts." -- An IndieReader approved novel
Gwen is the oldest of four children in the Aaldenberg family, and the one who seems to have it all. She's also most desperate to escape.
Betta, having nursed their dying grandpa for the past three years, is anxious for Gwen to go, so she can finally have reins to the family business. And Esmerelda, viciously determined to follow in Gwen's footsteps, vies for popularity as a freshman in high school, only to learn she must sell her soul, reputation, and most prized possession for acceptance.
As their father struggles with retirement and their mother with depression, Gwen discovers the debt her grandfather's passing left them in--and during a time of year when their coastal town, dependent on tourists, can barely sustain itself.
Gwen and their father agree Betta can't take over the store under such stressful circumstances, not when she's been carrying the load for so long, and to protect Betta, they play it off that she needs some time to rest.
When Gwen's fiancé moves to town, Gwen does her best to resign herself to a local life, while Betta struggles for meaning without the store. In order to carve out a place for herself, Betta must decide to what lengths she'll go in order to become her own person, and Gwen must decide what's more important: her sister or her future.