May's life had been just fine.
Not happy and miles from meaningful, but fine. She lived on an out-of-the-way island fittingly named Folly. She existed as far from other people as she could manage. The distance let her to drift from memories of her careless parents, graying recollections of the life taken from her, and a sea of her own bad decisions.
Hustling here and there as a small-time weed dealer on the crystal coast allowed May to live like a hermit in the off season. Save one cold night in November, just before a killing storm made landfall.
The island is left unlivable, and May, like so many others, has become a refugee. Drifting and wandering. Blindly trying to start life over. In this foggy chaos she treads to keep her head above water and to steady and buoy poor Tommy, a boy who might be too far gone to rescue.
Four hundred miles away, in a small dying town hidden high in the mountains, a disregarded teenager named Curtis and his unwilling sister Vicki run from the consequences of his violent proclivities. In a gassed-up Mustang, they head east, to the crystal coast, where they can hide and start over. Just like everyone else.
After the storm comes a different danger.
Praise for AFTER THE STORM:
"Opening in the aftermath of May's climatic and life-altering storm, After the Storm continues to give voice to Marietta Miles' complicated and complex heroine, May Cosby. Atmospheric, yet shot through with tension, Miles' third novella proves her mastery of the Southern Noir genre, distilled down to its purest essence: dark, harrowing and razor-sharp with unapologetic authenticity." --Steph Post, author of Miraculum
"After the Storm is the type of darkness that shines. A diamond stuck in the sludge that follows a disaster. Miles' writing reminds me of fight scenes in classic ninja movies: rainy, violent, emotional, and packed with danger. This is a tale of refugees and survivors, but lacks the clichéd hope permeating most of its kind. No, this is gloomy like the worst storm, and it'll leave you feeling like a tree after that storm: unhinged and broken. The difference is, unlike the tree, you'll be asking for more." --Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs
"Although she's published as a crime author, Marietta Miles once again fools everyone and defies all genre expectations, focusing on subtle, but all-too human emotional conflict, showing the struggle to rebuild not only after physical and natural disasters, but personal, intimate ones as well. And in After the Storm, she shows that sometimes those efforts fail." --Richard Vialet, Black Guys Do Read
"In After the Storm, Marietta Miles celebrates the human condition in all of its messiness and glory, whether it's May struggling to stay afloat or Vicki suffering in the wake of her brother's violence. The prose crackles with menace as you're taken on a journey that manages to not only be harrowing but surprisingly hopeful. Miles has the uncanny ability to navigate through the most wretched aspects of the human psyche amidst the bleakest of conditions with fragility, nuanced heart, and unwavering grace." --Sarah M. Chen, author of Cleaning Up Finn
"If you care about working-class novels, then you need to be reading Marietta Miles. She delves into the boredom of life and exposes its horror. After the Storm is not about looking for a way out, it is the about people trying to survive until tomorrow. Marietta Miles's books will wreck you." --David Nemeth, Unlawful Acts