The Afterpains


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Gorgeous and compelling, The Afterpains is a heartbreaking portrait of two families trying to cope with grief, isolation, and living far from one’s homeland—told in the voices of four distinct narrators.

Nearly twenty years after the death of her infant daughter, Rosy is still reeling from all that she’s lost. Desperate to repair the connections to the family she does have—her husband, Desmond, and her eighteen-year-old son, Eddie—she’s determined to lay her grief to rest by the twentieth anniversary of her daughter’s death.

At the same time, Isaura dreads what may be coming for her teenage daughter, Mivi. For centuries in her homeland of Honduras, the young women in Isaura’s family have been subjected to a curse of teenage motherhood and the untimely death of the men they loved. But even after moving thousands of miles away from Pespire to Toronto, Isaura fears that her daughter will not be spared.

Soon, Rosy and Isaura, essentially strangers, become connected in a way neither of them could predict. As they try to look to their future and their children’s, they struggle to put the past behind them—all while Eddie and Mivi contend with the weight of their mothers’ pain and guilt.

Tender and compassionate, The Afterpains is a moving debut novel on motherhood, grief, identity, and belonging.

Story Locale: Toronto, Canada; New York, USA; Pespire, Honduras; Michigan, USA

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Anna Julia Stainsby

Publication Date

March 5, 2024


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