Life After Life (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

    Ron Rash has a quote on the cover.  It says, "Like Flannery O'Connor, McCorkle's genius is to give us both philosophical speculation and a riveting narrative filled with unforgettable characters. Great writing, poignancy, humor, wisdom-all are in abundance here. Jill McCorkle is one of the South's greatest writers; she is also one of America's."  I wouldn't even attempt to say it better.  I'll only add 4 things.  1: This is a beautifully woven story with characters from 12-85 that stay with you long after the reading is over.  2:  I can not think of a single reader who would not appreciate this tender novel.   3:  The readers who have been waiting for a new novel from McCorkle for over 17 years will not be disappointed. 4: If Ron Rash loves it, don't you think you should give it a read?

— Jessilynn

This is a contemplative, poignant, and humorous book that seems very appropriate for this time of year. The author, Jill McCorkle, was a speaker at McLean & Eakin during Booktopia in the Summer of 2013, and the writing is all her - smart, funny and insightful.

Joanna Lamb, after a few marriages, missteps, and aha-experiences, is now a Hospice volunteer at a retirement facility in North Carolina. In addition to her official duties and records, she writes in a personal notebook the most important things in her patients' lives before they die, just as she promised the friend who turned Joanna's life around.  And what a cast of characters these patients are.... More sane than Fanny Flagg's, but as Ms. McCorkle explains in an interview at the end of the book, she only felt one character was completely unredeemable and another that could go either way. Though some of her patients' lives intertwine, they each have their own story.

What creates the actual plot of the book is Joanna's relationship with two of her youngest characters - one with a secret and the other with a troubled home-life. The resolutions at the end are both heart-wrenching for different reasons.

A great read!

— Karen M.


Award-winning author Jill McCorkle takes us on a splendid journey through time and memory in this, her tenth work of fiction. Life After Life is filled with a sense of wonder at our capacity for self-discovery at any age. And the residents, staff, and neighbors of the Pine Haven retirement center (from twelve-year-old Abby to eighty-five-year-old Sadie) share some of life's most profound discoveries and are some of the most true-to-life characters that you are ever likely to meet in fiction. Delivered with her trademark wit, Jill McCorkle's constantly surprising novel illuminates the possibilities of second chances, hope, and rediscovering life right up to the very end. She has conjured an entire community that reminds us that grace and magic can--and do--appear when we least expect it.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616203221
ISBN-10: 1616203226
Publisher: Shannon Ravenel Books
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Pages: 368
Language: English

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