The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Leigh’s mother recently took her own life. Since then Leigh has had mysterious encounters with a red bird that she is convinced is her mom.  This leads her and her father to Tawain and grandparents Leigh has never met and a family history Leigh has never been told.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan is a book full of grief, family secrets, forgiveness, and figuring out how to live in the face of heartbreaking tragedy. I’m usually a bit skeptical when it comes to magical realism, but it worked in this book, and in the end it doesn’t matter, if the bird was actually her mom or not (although, for what it’s worth, I believed Leigh in the end).

Suicide Prevention Resources – Where to find help for yourself or someone you care about:

National Suicide  Prevention Hotline | 1-800-273-8255

24/7 free and confidential support

Crisis Text Line  | 741741

Text HOME for free 24/7 crisis support.

The Trevor Project

Call: 1-866-488-7386 | Text: 1-202-304-1200 | Chat:

Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

RAINN | 1-800-856-4673

National Sexual Assault Hotline


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