After the End
Goodreads ratings
4.2 / 5

"After the End" Summary

By Natasha Preston

romance | 352 pages | Published in 2014

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teenage girl must navigate life after escaping a cult and uncovering the truth about her family.


"After the End" by Natasha Preston is a captivating young adult novel that delves into the complexities of family, love, and resilience in the face of adversity. Set in a small English town, the story follows the life of 17-year-old June, who finds herself navigating the aftermath of her mother's disappearance and the subsequent turmoil that unfolds within her family.

Brief Synopsis

The story is primarily set in a quaint English town, where June, the protagonist, grapples with the sudden disappearance of her mother. As her family struggles to come to terms with this devastating event, June finds herself caught in the crossfire of conflicting emotions and secrets that threaten to unravel the fabric of her world.

Main Characters

JuneA 17-year-old girl dealing with her mother's disappearance and the resulting family turmoil.
RyanJune's older brother, who is also deeply affected by their mother's absence.
HannahJune's best friend, who provides unwavering support throughout the ordeal.
TomJune's father, who is grappling with his own grief while trying to hold the family together.

Plot Overview and Setting

The story unfolds in a picturesque English town, providing a serene backdrop to the emotional turbulence experienced by the characters. June, the protagonist, is thrust into the uncharted territory of her mother's disappearance, which sends ripple effects through her family and community. As June grapples with the uncertainty surrounding her mother's fate, she is confronted with a web of revelations and challenges that test the bonds of love and loyalty within her family.

Main Events

Chapters 1-5: The Disappearance

June's world is turned upside down when her mother mysteriously vanishes, leaving her family reeling with shock and confusion. As the days pass without any sign of her mother, June and her family are consumed by a sense of helplessness and despair.

Chapters 6-10: Unraveling Secrets

Amidst the turmoil, June discovers unsettling secrets about her mother's past, shedding light on hidden aspects of her identity. These revelations deepen the family's emotional turmoil and raise questions about the true nature of the disappearance.

Chapters 11-15: Strained Relationships

The strain of the situation takes a toll on the relationships within the family, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings. June grapples with the shifting dynamics between her and her brother, Ryan, as they struggle to cope with their shared loss.

Chapters 16-20: Searching for Answers

Driven by a relentless desire for closure, June embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind her mother's disappearance. Her determination leads her to unexpected revelations and confrontations, further complicating the family's journey towards healing.

Chapters 21-25: Resilience and Hope

As the story reaches its climax, June and her family navigate the complexities of forgiveness, resilience, and the enduring power of love in the face of adversity. The resolution brings a sense of closure and newfound strength to the characters.

Themes and Insights

Family Dynamics

The novel delves into the intricate dynamics of family relationships, portraying the impact of adversity on the bonds between parents, siblings, and children. It explores themes of resilience, forgiveness, and the enduring strength of familial love in the face of hardship.

Resilience and Hope

Through June's journey, the story highlights the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity to find hope amidst despair. It emphasizes the importance of perseverance and inner strength in overcoming life's challenges.

Identity and Self-Discovery

The novel delves into the theme of identity, as June grapples with discovering hidden aspects of her mother's past. This exploration of identity extends to the characters' personal growth and self-discovery amidst the upheaval in their lives.

Secrets and Truth

Secrets play a pivotal role in the narrative, unraveling hidden truths that shape the characters' perceptions and relationships. The novel underscores the significance of honesty and transparency in fostering genuine connections and understanding.

Reader's Takeaway

"After the End" offers a poignant exploration of the human experience, delving into the complexities of family, resilience, and the pursuit of truth. Readers are drawn into a compelling narrative that navigates the depths of emotion, leaving them with a profound appreciation for the enduring power of love and hope in the face of adversity.


Natasha Preston's "After the End" weaves a powerful narrative that resonates with readers through its exploration of love, loss, and the indomitable human spirit. Set against the backdrop of a small English town, the story immerses readers in the emotional journey of June and her family as they confront the aftermath of her mother's disappearance. With its compelling themes and relatable characters, the novel offers a moving portrayal of resilience, hope, and the enduring bonds of family.

After the End FAQ

  1. What is 'After the End' about?

    After the End is a novel about a girl named June who has lived her entire life in a remote bunker with her family, believing the outside world to be uninhabitable due to a nuclear war. When June discovers that the outside world is actually safe, she must navigate the challenges of adapting to this new reality.

  2. Who is the author of 'After the End'?

    The author of 'After the End' is Natasha Preston, a British author known for her young adult fiction and psychological thrillers.

  3. What genre does 'After the End' belong to?

    'After the End' belongs to the young adult fiction genre, with elements of dystopian and contemporary fiction.

  4. Is 'After the End' part of a series?

    No, 'After the End' is a standalone novel and is not part of a series.

  5. What are some themes explored in 'After the End'?

    Themes explored in 'After the End' include survival, family dynamics, trust, and adapting to change.