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Life After Life: A Novel Hardcover – March 26, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Agatha Christie believed that an English village was a microcosm of the world, containing all the virtues and evils of the greatest metropolis. The same might be said of Pine Haven Retirement Center, the hub of McCorkle’s new novel, which interweaves the stories of residents, staff, and visitors in a small Carolina town. There is Joanna, the hospice worker, who records the lives of those passing; Sadie, the longtime resident and onetime schoolteacher, who believes everyone remains their eight-year-old self at heart; and the judgmental Marge, called “Extralarge Marge Barge” by the blustery, rude Stanley. Each tells his or her own story, and the bit player in one story becomes the protagonist of the next, providing an ever-clearer picture of the crisscrossing histories that have made these people who they are. By turns comic, insightful, and heart wrenching, Life after Life shows how old age can give us a second chance: to see ourselves rightly, be truer to those we love, and inspire those we leave behind. --Lynn Weber
"McCorkle finds that space where the humor and the sadness in these characters' lives come together, that space where she has always worked the best of her magic...You are undoubtly changed when you reach the novel's end."(Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang )
"With Life After Life, Jill McCorkle knocks it out of the park and into the cosmos. Each character holds unique surprises that unveil the intricate magic of this brilliant novel."(Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright )
"Jill is going to break your heart, but along the way make you glad you went with her. She has written a book that will haunt me for a long time - in the best way."(Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard out of Carolina )
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Top customer reviews
The setting is a nursing home. Each character's story is told in bits and pieces throughout the book, prefaced by a note about them with birth and death dates. By the end we see the relationships between them.
If I reread this book, I would take notes on each character. Too much work for a non-fiction book for me.
I have been one for many years and the subject of hospice is near and dear to me. However, that is by no means all that the novel is about, in fact, it's a pretty small portion. It is about life in an assisted living community and the various characters living there. Joanna is the hospice volunteer.
I think that the subject of end-of-life was dealt with exceptionally well and that Ms. McCorkle may have some experience in this field. If not, she has done her homework.
It is not a depressing book - it is funny in some parts, sad in others and insightful throughout. I can't wait to read the rest of her books.