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Abstract In a small mountain community of British Columbia a school bus swerves off the road, causing the death of 14 children. Volume 92 , Issue 6 December Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID.

Hardback Editions

Forgot your password? Forgot password? Then, the aftermath. In the novel that The Sweet Hereafter is based on, Russell Banks put the "math" back in "aftermath"--dividing up the guilt and innocence, good fortune and bad. With 14 children dead, there was plenty of guilt to go around. Dolores Driscoll, who was driving the bus, may or may not have been going too fast.

The Sweet Hereafter |

The guardrail may have been defective. The sandpit was supposed to have been drained. But, though one of its main characters is a big-city lawyer who descends upon the town like some kind of avenging angel, The Sweet Hereafter isn't ultimately about guilt and innocence.

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It's about forgiveness, acceptance and death as a part of life. And it's about how we can lose our kids, whether or not we're paying enough attention to them.

Off for the Sweet Hereafter

The tragedy puts a horrible rip in the fabric of this isolated community, but Banks and Egoyan let us know that there were already some sizable rips in that fabric--adultery, incest. Mitchell Stevens Ian Holm , a lonely attorney, journeys to a small town in the snowy wilds of British Columbia. The townspeople have suffered a cataclysmic tragedy, and he has come to try to represent them legally in their grief.

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  8. Egoyan, gliding between past and present, teases our curiosity, revealing the details of the disaster only gradually. By the time we witness, in a memorably chilling image, what actually happened — a school bus full of children perishes in a road accident — the event feels part of something larger, a disturbance in the universe. The Sweet Hereafter is a hymn to the agony of loss, yet it is also saturated with the radiance of parental love.

    The characters we see here cherish their children. Holm gives a great, searing, implosive performance.