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The Year That Follows Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 9, 2009

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307271196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307271198
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,521,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A daughter and her father navigate the year that follows September 11, revealing secrets and healing old wounds in this slightly higher-brow Nicholas Sparksian melodrama. Single mother Cat searches for the orphaned child of her brother, Kyle, after Kyle died on 9/11 in one of the towers. Turns out Kyle had confessed to Cat the night before that he believes he is a father, and that the child's mother worked in the World Trade Center. A year after the attack and with no orphan located, Cat's father, Sam, a widowed former military man dying of heart disease, invites Cat to join him in marking the anniversary of Kyle's death. Both Cat and Sam embark on emotional journeys toward each other and reconciliation, and along the way they each find love. The numerous sappy passages don't do any favors for a book with an already maudlin premise. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for Scott Lasser’s The Year that Follows

“Scott Lasser’s succinct writing underscores the quiet emotional intensity of The Year That Follows his tender novel about the powerful, complicated ties of family. . . . A moving but remarkably unsentimental story.”
—Diane White, Boston Sunday Globe

“There are few books this reviewer is compelled to finish in one sitting, and this was one of them.”
—Henry Bankhead, Library Journal

“Getting to know Lasser’s complex and affecting characters is a profound pleasure, as is his radiant understanding of intimate relationships between parents and children and men and women. The strong, sure current of his magnetizing prose delivers one stunning revelation after another in this sinuous tale of biology-leaping familial connections. Every rinsed-clear sentence carries the unbearable tension of fear-laced hope as Cat struggles toward forgiveness and love, and Sam accepts the painful but affirming collision of loss and joy. ”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

“A taut, masterfully controlled and profoundly moving novel. . . . A novel with barely a wasted word or an emotion that doesn’t ring true.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“I couldn’t put Scott Lasser’s The Year that Follows down. The characters were vivid, and the drama moving. One of the great gifts of the book is that it brings to life a haunting story in a way that is thoroughly uplifting. One of the best novels about loss I’ve ever read.”
—Anita Shreve, author of Testimony and The Pilot’s Wife

The Year that Follows introduces readers to a cast of flawed, good people struggling to mine meaning from the tragic loss of 9/11 as, step by tentative step, they move toward an altered future. Scott Lasser’s life affirming novel is stirring, poignant, and quietly profound.”
—Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

More About the Author

Scott Lasser is the author of four novels: Battle Creek, All I Could Get, The Year That Follows, and Say Nice Things About Detroit. His non-fiction has appeared in magazines ranging from the New Yorker to Dealmaker Magazine. Lasser has worked for a number of now-bankrupt companies, including General Motors, Lehman Brothers, and Dealmaker Magazine. Visit his website at

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The writing made you feel as if you really knew these characters.
Joan Moon
This book centers around the 9/11 tragedy and the aftermath and has it all: love, loss, second chances, hopefulness.
J. N Sandell
The book is simply beautiful on every level -- beautifully written, beautiful character development, beautiful story.
K. Wray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Rebel Librarian on June 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Scott Lasser's third novel is a charm. I haven't read his first two yet, but they're on my list. The prologue packs a punch: Wall Street broker Kyle tells his sister Cat that he thinks he has an infant son from a relationship with another broker. The next day, both he and the child's mother die in the 9-11 attacks. Cat, a single mother living in Detroit, is determined to find the child with very little information to go on. Meanwhile, her eighty-year-old father is dealing with his own challenges on the West Coast, from blocked arteries to a secret he has kept from his only surviving child for too long. Father and daughter agree to observe the first anniversary of Kyle's death with a Jewish custom, even though neither has practiced the faith for many years - or, in Cat's case, ever.
The empathy with which the two protagonists are treated is impressive, and the story moves at a good pace. Themes of family bonds and second chances are conveyed in a straightforward style that manages to avoid sentimentality.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Corsoe on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his previous books---Battle Creek, and All I Could Get---Scott Lasser proved himself to be one of those rare literary writers who not only has important stories to tell, but who also knows how to tell them. In both of those novels, Lasser offers compelling, flesh-and-blood characters who are not afraid to face the world and fight for what they want and for what they believe in. Lasser explores life-and-death themes---fathers and sons, fear and desire, the compromises we all must make to live in the real world---but does so in stories that rocket forward, barely leaving readers time to catch a breath

The Year That Follows, Lasser's newest, offers all the same pleasures of the previous novels and more. In it, Lasser has compressed a powerful family saga into the confines of a short novel that reads as briskly and effortlessly as a detective mystery.

Set during 'the year that follows' 9/11, the novel tells the story of a family struggling to accept the death of Kyle---son, brother---who dies in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Kyle's father, Sam, determines to properly mourn his son and insists the family observe the anniversary of Kyle's death according to Jewish tradition. He admits this is looking back---but what more can a father nearing the end of his own life do? Kyle's sister, Cat, on the other hand, has committed to looking forward: she has decided to find and possibly raise the child of Kyle and a woman she has never met.

These twin strands make up the main storyline of the novel---but along the way we learn much more about Cat, Sam and what it means not only to be part of a family living through sudden loss, but just how fluid and resilient the definition of family can actually be.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay F. Cowan on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Scott Lasser's latest novel displays the writer's work at its most sensitive and compelling, with his trademark dry humor and the kind of page-turning pace that's rare in literary writing. It's too easy when thinking and writing about 9/11 to look at the larger crime and tragedy of it while forgetting the individual human lives that were changed forever. Using it as the backdrop for this ambitious and moving tale of quintessentially American stories, Lasser has homed in on the family ties that shape and define us all. It is spare, elegant and heart-wrenching in just the right doses. If you are a fan of iconic author James Salter, a big influence in Lasser's work, you can do no better than this novel. Read it first, before the inevitable Oscar-winning movie, so you can tell your friends you knew about it from the beginning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fortyish bond trader Kyle died in one of the Towers of 9/11. Just before he died, Kyle informed his single mom sister Cat that he believed he is the father of an infant and that the mother also worked in the WTC. The siblings planned to meet shortly to honor their late mom; the next day Kyle was dead. Cat searches for her nephew, but makes no progress.

A year later, Cat's dad Sam, a widower veteran dying from a congestive heart disease, invites her to come to the Big Apple from Detroit to be together while they memorialize Kyle in a Jewish ritual in spite of neither having any faith anymore. She agrees as a chance to reconcile with her dad as both grieved 9/11 differently. She leaves for New York with hopes of finding her nephew and in some ways her dad.

THE YEAR THAT FOLLOWS is an excellent look at how people react after a tragedy occurs to loved ones. Cat and Sam are fully developed protagonists who have found separate ways to cope with what happened to Kyle, who we meet through the memories of his sister and father. Readers who relish a poignant look at survival coping will appreciate Scott Lasser's terrific tale as religious beliefs collapse when the walls came tumbling down yet religious ritual enables grieving family members to come together at a time when surviving loved ones need each other for emotional support.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gentle Reader on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved THE YEAR THAT FOLLOWS. The story was really interesting and the characters both flawed and sympathetic. The writing is terrific and leaves you so much to think about in terms of love, loss, and pressing on regardless. Highly recommended.
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