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Life After Life

A Novel
Narrated by: Holly Fielding
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Jill McCorkle’s first novel in 17 years is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens. Among them, third-grade teacher Sadie Randolph, who has taught every child in town and believes we are all eight years old in our hearts; Stanley Stone, once Fulton’s most prominent lawyer, now feigning dementia to escape life with his son; Marge Walker, the town’s self-appointed conveyor of social status who keeps a scrapbook of every local murder and heinous crime; and Rachel Silverman, recently widowed, whose decision to leave her Massachusetts home and settle in Fulton is a mystery to everyone but her. C.J., the pierced and tattooed young mother who runs the beauty shop, and Joanna, the hospice volunteer who discovers that her path to a good life lies with helping folks achieve good deaths, are two of the staff on whom the residents depend.

McCorkle puts her finger on the pulse of every character’s strengths, weaknesses, and secrets. And, as she connects their lives through their present circumstances, their pasts, and, in some cases, their deaths, she celebrates the blessings and wisdom of later life and infuses this remarkable novel with hope and laughter.

©2013 Jill McCorkle (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sherry L. Wright
  • Sherry L. Wright
  • 30-03-2013

Too Bad

Great concept for a book but this one is all over the place and it doesn't help at all that the reader does nothing for the characters. Perhaps if each character were given a distict voice to match their personalities it would be easier to follow all the jumping from person to person from the past to the present, etc.

I can't reccomend.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pamela
  • Pamela
  • 11-05-2013

Disappointing

What disappointed you about Life After Life?

This book was a big disappointment for me. It was not at all what I expected. Based on the summary, I thought the story would revolve around the life stories, lessons learned and wisdom of the residents of a home for the elderly as told to two younger women - a hospice volunteer and a hairdresser/manicurist who work there. That is not what the book delivered. The stories were disjointed, it was difficult to keep the characters straight and there were no life lessons or wisdom anywhere to be found. Most of the characters were unlikable and there was no resolution to any of the subplots.

Has Life After Life turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all. I'm attracted to novels that look back at a character's life with reflection and wisdom. This one was just not very well done.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Except for when there was dialogue (which was seldom), she droned on in a boring monotone with no effort to distinguish one narrator/character from another. I would not listen to another book narrated by her.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CHET YARBROUGH
  • CHET YARBROUGH
  • 05-02-2015

AT A CERTAIN AGE

At a certain age everyone disappears according to Jill McCorkle in her book,"Life After Life". McCorkle writes multiple stories about several intertwined lives. McCorkle’s implied tautology is that all life is subject to disappearance; i.e. sometimes during life; most often, after death. Disappearance, particularly while alive, comes from a lack of empathy or understanding. Loss of empathy makes the young and misunderstood, and the old and disabled disappear. Every time one fails to listen to what someone is saying, they disappear. Disappearance after death comes from loss of remembrance; i.e. if one’s life is not recorded, it is forgotten. McCorkle’s book is about disappearance of the only life one lives. (Kate Atkinson also wrote a book titled "Life After Life". However Atkinson’s story is a “Slaughter House Five”’ resurrection about an alternative life for the same person. Atkinson’s alternative lives are the result of small changes in the history of one person’s life.)

McCorkle infers that love is a multifaceted experience that leads to happiness, but love is not guaranteed either by wealth, security, or intimacy. McCorkle’s story shows that poverty wears people down, infidelity drives discontent, and every life, whether well or poorly lived, eventually disappears. McCorkle shows one may get an extension of remembrance by having their life experience written down. However, in McCorkle’s story, extended-remembrance is as likely a newspaper article about murder as about a life well-lived.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carol
  • Carol
  • 30-06-2013

Bored in the first hour

What disappointed you about Life After Life?

The narrator was terrible: monotone to the extent that after a short time I could only react negatively to her voice, not listen to the story.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Never got there.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Holly Fielding?

Can't say.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I think the different characters could have come to life with the right reader.

Any additional comments?

Can I get my book credit back?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for david
  • david
  • 18-04-2013

Has the the theme of "Our Town" for the aged.

Would you consider the audio edition of Life After Life to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print. I listened to the audiobook twice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Many realistic characters, Touchingly well described.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Emotional story of life as we age. Touching for an aging child of elderly parents from a small town.

Any additional comments?

Great book if you enjoy an ensemble, character driven story. Wonderfully read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kat
  • Kat
  • 08-04-2013

So excited to see McCorkle's new novel!

What did you love best about Life After Life?

I love the way that Jill McCorkle paints the characters in all of her books, and Life After Life is no different. I loved that this was a great story with some amazing character studies woven in.

What does Holly Fielding bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Holly Fielding is a great storyteller, and really picks up on the subtleties of McCorkle's characters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I really liked listening to Life After Life broken up in pieces on my commute - each time, I felt like I was digging into a different character's story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-11-2019

One of the Worst Story I’ve read in a long time!!

This book was wrong in so many ways! I read it threw my book club and no one finished it except me, the librarian in me kept thinking it has to get better! Story sequencing was awful and had no rhythm! The information about dementia is very poor in that it was inaccurate and her research was zero on the subject leaving this child of dementia family history Appalled and insulted! Please do not waste your time nor money!!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for EM123
  • EM123
  • 23-10-2017

Don’t bother reading this book

Everyone is messed up and no actual story just bits and pieces of their lives that’s all messed up

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie wants to Review
  • 20-09-2016

Life After Life Audio book

Would loved more with this story line. Enjoyed this one very much. Will listen to this one again!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for D. Hoard
  • D. Hoard
  • 11-04-2015

Unsatisfactory ending; too many loose ends

The first 3/4 of the book was good, the last 1/4 not so much. It seems the author decided she was tired of the characters and just quickly wrote an ending without regard to plotting or any closure at all.