Document Type

Honors Thesis


Secondary Education


Chris Mares

Committee Members

Hollie Adams, Adam Crowley, Julie DellaMattera, Cynthia Erdley

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Fall 12-2021


Already Too Late (Dec. 2021), in its beginning stages, is a novel that explores the intricacies of trauma response within the context of creative writing that appeals to both older and younger readers alike. This thesis consists of a complete story outline, four well-established chapters, and a disquisition that examines my motivations, methodology, and the research related to the content of this project. The novel is a dual-perspective narrative that interweaves 17-year-old Avery Landon’s traumatic experiences with sexual assault with her father Marty’s overwhelming grief and his coming to terms with his failed parenting. When Avery is raped at a summer party, she struggles to put the pieces of that horrific night back together. In the weeks that follow, however, the memories come flooding back, progressively sinking her into a deep depression that soon becomes inescapable. As life becomes more and more difficult for Avery to bear, she decides that the only way to escape her struggles is by committing suicide. Interspersed with Avery’s chapters is Marty’s storyline, which begins at Avery’s celebration of life. After first losing his wife Marilyn, Marty spent all of his time writing in the efforts of holding on to his last connection to his soulmate. Because of this, Avery and her brother Tony are left to navigate their lives without him, and he doesn’t realize how badly they need him until it’s already too late. The two stories switch off with one another, showcasing the realities of trauma, grief and regret, until both characters eventually find peace in their own complex ways.