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For Naomi Ash is a medium, and the daughter of a medium, who lives in a town founded and populated entirely by other mediums. From the beginning, she's been privy to all the tricks of her trade. Growing up in New Orleans, she helped her spiritualist mother by faking spirit voices through fans and, in one case, draping herself in a lace tablecloth as the ghost of a dead child. But what begins in fraud, she tells us, has ended "in something at least close to truthfulness":
I, for one, couldn't always disentangle the real from the fraudulent, the truth from its trappings. Sometimes it seemed as if my mother's fakery was just a more interesting and beautiful version of what was real. Sometimes it seemed that the truth needed the lies, as if there wouldn't be any truth without them. At any rate, whatever my mother was doing, it was a rare and powerful thing, perhaps even a form of magic. It enthralled me.After their move to Train Line, New York, a fairy tale Victorian village run slightly to seed, Naomi and her mother settle into working Psychic Faires and message services. Then Naomi meets Peter Morton, a graduate student on vacation, and falls in love; 10 years later, she's still paying the price.
First-time novelist Ellis produces lovely prose: "A lonely life is a crime without witnesses, it is a movie playing in a locked theater; can you ever really be sure what happens in it? Can you be sure that it happens at all?" At the same time, this author's writing can be willfully unglamorous: her characters have dirty hair and clothes with stains on them, and their world smells like ours, like fried things and wet earth and dirty lake water. In its mix of the mundane and the magical, After Life gets at some fundamental truths about the dead and those they leave behind. You don't have to believe in the spirit world to understand Naomi's final insight as a medium--or to know just how much it hurts: "He would never be completely gone, but he would never, ever be with me." --Greta Kline --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This was a vivid excursion into an intriguing town where psychics and phonies co-exist: sometimes in the same individual. Read morePublished 1 day ago by lenasquest
This book was wonderful, in fact I recommended it for my book group and read it a second time. I loved the characters, the writing, and the fact that there was so much to discuss... Read morePublished 1 month ago by PurlGirl
I am not sure how I stumbled upon this book, but I found the main character to be so likeable and a bit quirky, which made for a very enjoyable read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shafer
It was a good read but really went too slow and the flashbacks took you awhile to tell what they were.Published 3 months ago by Belinda
This little book held my interest because of the build of the story and the characters. I'm looking forward to the author's next book. I loved the descriptions of the settings. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Thank you, Rhian Ellis, for sharing Naomi with us, and thank you, Nancy Pearl. This is a book to be treasured.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was intrigued from the beginning to the end of this book. It was a book that was hard to put down once started. Very entertaining read.Published 5 months ago by K M B