After the Fog

by Nancy


In 1948, the town of Donora, PA, home to steel and zinc mills, was covered in a thick blanket of fog for several days. The “killing smog” caused severe breathing difficulties and even multiple deaths. This disaster is the basis for Kathleen Shoop’s new novel, After the Fog.

Rose Pavlesic is a community nurse, visiting homes to take care of the residents of Donora. Rose is dedicated to her profession and her patients, often to the detriment of her own family. She doesn’t realize how much her tight control over her children is really an illusion until her son Johnny informs her he’d rather play music than go to college to play football, and her daughter Magdalena turns up pregnant.

Rose had a less than ideal childhood, growing up in an orphanage, and she’s determined to keep her own children from living the life she feels is beneath them. Rose and her husband Henry, who works at the zinc mill, live with Henry’s extended family – his good-for-nothing brother Buzzy, Buzzy’s Southern wife who mourns the live of privilege she left behind, their son Leo who they don’t seem to care about as he follows Nurse on her home visits, an uncle who suffers from dementia and an aunt who takes a portion of everyone’s wages and hoards it in a pouch she keeps around her neck.

After the Fog is very much a character-driven novel – as Rose navigates Donora, treating patients who live in squalor and poverty, she begins to realize that she’s not the only one in her family who’s been keeping secrets from her loved ones. A decision she made as a teen not only haunts her but has found her in Donora. The circumstances surrounding Henry losing his job at the mill seem to change with every person she meets. And the church is turning out to be everything but the sanctuary it previously was. Instead of leaning on her family, she pushes them aside, turning to alcohol and using her nurse duties as an excuse to keep her head in the sand. But Rose soon comes to accept that her family is what really matters, and that lies can only stay hidden for so long before the truth comes out.

If After the Fog appeals to you, then leave a comment below to enter to win a copy, US addresses only. The winner will be announced in our regular giveaway column on May 23. This giveaway is closed.

Don’t miss a thing: Check out our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed or video reviews on YouTube. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or on Facebook.

Email Author    |    Website About Nancy

Nancy enjoys reading, cross stitch and carting her kids to sports practices and games. She chronicles life with her boys and books at Life With My Boys and Book

View all articles by


This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support this site. Thank you!
See our Disclosure Policy for details.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anne May 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway which sounds compelling and unique.


2 Diane May 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

I am interested in this novel greatly. Many thanks.


3 samantha w May 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

this sounds really good


4 Liz May 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I’d never heard of Donora. How grim.


5 June May 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Sounds so good to me.


6 Colleen Turner May 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I’ve never heard of the killing smog bit I love historical fiction and would love a chance to learn more. Thanks for the giveaway!


7 Sandra K321 May 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

This is the first write-up I’ve seen for this book. Please include me in the giveaway.


8 Cindi May 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I had never heard of this happening…
The characters sound interesting and
I would really enjoy reading this book!
Many thanks, Cindi


9 Sharon May 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Sounds really good!


10 Beth C May 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Sounds like a very interesting book. Thanks!


11 Julia Reffner May 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

This sounds excellent. Please count me in.



12 jean olaughlin May 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

This sounds like a great book!


13 Stephanie May 10, 2012 at 1:21 am

Sounds like a good summer read!
Stephanie recently posted..Hint of Chocolate Green Smoothie – GF/DF/SFMy Profile


14 riTa May 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

I am interested. My mother grew up in PA.
riTa recently posted..2012 Week 18: Back HomeMy Profile


15 Cariol Wong May 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This book would be very vivid to me as whenever it is foggy outside, my asthma roars back. I love to read historic fiction and am very excited to find out about this book.


16 Garrett May 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

This one sounds really good as well.


17 Chuck May 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

Please enter me for this one.


18 Staci A May 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

It sounds like a good read!


19 Angela E. May 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Would like to read this book.


20 memetu May 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I want to read about this journey and struggle that faces us all in this polluted world.


21 Linda Kish May 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


22 Anita Yancey May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

This book sounds like an amazing read. I would really enjoy it. Please enter me. Thanks!


23 Van May 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

This book really sounds good.


24 Amanda Cargile May 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I’m finding that I have a new interest in historical fiction. This one sounds good!


25 karenk May 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm

would love to read this novel…thanks for the chance :)


26 Don May 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

This book reminds me of the movie, the Mist


27 bobby May 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

i would like to be entered


28 Nancy May 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Congratulations, you win! Please reply to this email with your address and we’ll pass it along.
Nancy recently posted..May NightstandMy Profile


29 Jessica T May 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Looks like a good read!


30 Lori D. May 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Would love to read this one.


31 Hailey L. May 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I would love to win!


32 Jeff May 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

What a great sounding story.


33 Barb May 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hmm… sounds interesting, and different.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: