I'd never heard of her before then I'm sorry to say, but I began buying up her books when I found them thereafter. Due to the home demo, I don't have the dough set aside to spend on pricey hardcovers during their first publication run, so buying Life After Life was out of the question. Thus, I made a point of eyeing the new book arrivals whenever I happened to be in the local library. Finally, last week I hit pay dirt.
Life After Life is about just that. In the wake of a "failed" suicide attempt, thrice married Joanna becomes a hospice volunteer in her old hometown to honor her deceased husband. Her and a wacky cast that make up the old folk's home and the town surrounding it fill the pages of this surprise of a novel. Each chapter introduces us to a life and one by one we read through them, slowly understanding how each one fits together, culminating in an unexpected ending whose warning bells, placed throughout the novel, are easy to miss. It is a story of deaths but in those deaths is the story of life.
In short, it was a darn good book and you should read it too.
In other news, as I type there is a hole in the wall leading into the kitchen. Home demo has began and it means that I no longer have to walk outside to get to the refrigerator. Note that after sledgehammering the hole in the wall, we found that it used to be a doorway whose frame is still there, with the previous owner's names, the contractor's name, and the date the wall went up (1960), as well as a heart with the initials of the husband and wife inside it, written in pencil, waiting for us to find it.
In the background is the former door leading to the second set of basement stairs, which are no longer there, replaced with plywood and a bit of elbow grease.
Progress. It happens slow, but it happens.