After the Fire, by Belva Plain, is a very good book because it holds your interest and makes you want to keep reading. The plot begins a little slowly as it describes the meeting, dating, and subsequent marriage of Gerald and Hyacinth. The pace picks up, however, once Gerald becomes a successful doctor and their marriage begins to fall apart.When Hyacinth's jealously places her in Gerald's office building the night it burns down, deceit, divorce, and blackmail quickly follow. The twists and turns of Hyacinth's life after her divorce and loss of custody of her children make this book a real page-turner.
Belva Plain does an excellent job of describing her characters and making the reader feel their pain. As Hyacinth mopes around the house after Gerald and the kids move to Florida, you want to cry right along with her. When she finally pulls herself together, goes to school, and becomes a successful fashion designer, you want to cheer for her. On the other hand, you want to despise Gerald for being so cruel and keeping the children away from their mother. The reader's heart also aches for the children who are caught in the middle and cannot be told the truth about what is keeping their mother from them. I would definitely recommend this book to all those who enjoy reading suspense and romance novels.