“After the Fog”, by Kathleen Shoop, is a gripping novel based on actual events. It was October of 1948 in the mill town of Donora Pennsylvania and the fog was settling in. The 3 steel mills in town were in constant operation and spewing pollution into the atmosphere. The valley was often covered in a fog that would dissipate by mid-morning. This time the fog was not dissipating, instead it seemed to be getting thicker and darker each day.
Rose is a community nurse in Donora with a compllicated family life. As the darkness increases Rose’s life starts to unravel. She was always in control of everything, a need since her days in the orphanage. Her husband Henry has lost his job, her teenage daughter (a science whiz) is pregnant and her son is refusing a football scholarship to Notre Dame. As she frantically makes her way around the darkened town to tend to the towns people sick and dying from the fog, all the lies that have been holding the family together come unraveled
This is an incredibly well written and gripping story. Shoop’s writing is vivid and the characters she has created are multi-dimensional and complex. The scene descriptions make you feel like you are choking on the killing fog, blindly making your way through the small mountain town. I highly recommend this read.