After We Were Stolen A Novel
An emotionally wrought debut fiction novel perfect for book clubs about a girl who escapes from a cult after a deadly fire destroys her family's compound, only to be haunted by That Night as she tries to build a new life for herself. A fire. Her escape. And the realization her entire life has been a lie. One night, nineteen-year-old Avery is awoken by a fire consuming her family's compound. She manages to escape and runs away with her younger brother, Cole, hiding in the woods and then a school gym for weeks, dodging stares and stealing food to survive. After police apprehend them for shoplifting, a horrific discovery is made—they were actually kidnapped as children, taken by the cult leaders they knew as Mom and Dad. Cole is quickly reunited with his family and permanently separated from Avery, who is taken to a women's shelter when no family comes forward. Avery isn't certain who survived the Bakelite cult fire or, more importantly, who set it. As she tries to move past the lies and the trauma of her childhood, the events of the night of the fire come bursting back into the news, and a police investigation throws Avery into the spotlight where she's pushed to answer questions she can't explain. The memories of that night and her former life threaten to undo all the progress she's made, but she must uncover the truth about the fire to truly be free. Suspenseful, emotionally charged, and deeply thought-provoking, After We Were Stolen delves into ideas of family—those we're born into and those we make, resilience, and the lengths a cult survivor will go to finally be free of her painful past. Brooke Beyfuss's powerful debut novel sparkles with heart, grit, and extraordinary characters who will stay with you long after the last page.