Next Life Might Be Kinder (Hardcover)
Houghton Mifflin, 9780547712123, 255pp.
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
June 2014 Indie Next List
— Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
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Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in an art gallery. The sparks are immediate, leading quickly to a marriage that is dear, erotically charged, and brief. In Howard Norman's spellbinding and moving novel, the gleam of the marriage and the circumstances of Elizabeth's murder are revealed in heart-stopping increments. Sam's life afterward is complicated. For one thing, in a moment of desperate confusion, he sells his life story to a Norwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of his films, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intense cat-and-mouse game between the two men. For another, Sam has begun "seeing" Elizabeth--not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost every evening, and watching her line up books on a small beach. What at first seems simply hallucination born of terrible grief reveals itself, evening by evening, as something else entirely.
Next Life Might Be Kinder is a story of murder, desperate faith, the afterlife, and of love as absolute redemption--from one of our most compelling storytellers at the height of his talents.