But Then I Came Back is the sequel to Estelle Laure’s absolutely stellar debut novel This Raging Light. It takes on a new tone, though, shifting its narration to Eden, the best friend of the previous book’s narrator.
Eden is a prima ballerina with big dreams of dancing professionally in New York City. All of that changes when she has an accident and almost drowns in a creek, causing her to fall into a long coma with slim chances of ever waking up again. When she defies the odds and opens her eyes, everyone seems to think that she’s a miracle. But Eden feels as though she’s the exact opposite. Through her recovery, she finds solace in her fascination with another coma patient on the floor and Joe, the boy who stands outside that patient’s room every day, watching.
Although this book is linked to This Raging Light, it would be fairly easy to pick up But Then I Came Back without reading the former. You might be a bit confused about a few minor details, but there wouldn’t be too much confusion.
Simply stated, I really enjoyed this book and being able to follow Eden’s story more extensively, beyond that of her side character gig in the first book. Eden’s character is deeply complex, and Laure did a phenomenal job of realistically tackling the challenges and effects of a near-death experience. The growth that Eden show was messy and real, something that I found very endearing throughout the novel.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.