After Life

After Life

A Novel

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
Rate this:
So begins After Life, a psychological suspense tale, set in a place that is a world of its own, out of time, & almost off the map. Born in New Orleans, Naomi Ash is raised by her mother, a medium who has schooled Naomi in parlor-trick quackery & the various methods used to tell customers what they most need to hear. A little magic, a little theatre, a little bending of the letter of the law lead mother & daughter to relocate hastily to Train Line--a strange, tiny hamlet of shabby, gingerbread-frilled cottages, card readers, table-levitators, "Message Services" dispensing advice to the desirous; low-rent "Psychic Faires" at the local Holiday Inn, & of course, "The Mother Galina Psychic Hour," (Naomi's mother's own radio enterprise). In this environment, Naomi Ash comes of age; comes to terms with her own nascent spiritual gifts--and begins to distinguish what might be her own true vision from fakery & fraud. Her skills pass the scrutiny of Train Line's Board, & she puts out a shingle of her own. Then, a young graduate student, Peter Morton, blows into town. And Naomi falls in love. Evocative, suspenseful & beautifully written, After Life introduces a truly original voice, utterly contemporary, but also a true storyteller in the classic sense.
Publisher: New York : Viking Penguin, 2000.
ISBN: 9780670892426
Branch Call Number: FIC/Ellis 6173cg 1
Characteristics: 292 p.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

lilylibrarian Jun 15, 2012

Patsy Ash, known as Madame Galina, discovered her supernatural abilities as a young teen, after her beloved older brother Wilson ran away from home, never to be seen again. Patsy grieved, imagining seeing him around every corner. When a scraggly peacock showed up near her home, Patsy adopted it, and her life changed. The creature became attached, crying for her attention, and simulaneously Patsy began having glorious, prophetic dreams, dare she call them visions? Thus began a career as a medium, leading her to move, daughter Naomi in tow, to Train Line, New York, a tiny town owned by the Church of Spiritualist Studies. Naomi, a heavy and unappealing youngster, grows up with seances, levitations and psychic faires. While the practitioners in Train Line believe in the spiritual phenomenon they espouse, they are dependent on the summer tourist trade, and all recognize the value of theatrics. Indeed, both medium and seeker are served by a certain degree of pretense. The bereaved, desperate for hope, and is comforted even if the contact with the dead spouse is dubious. Naomi knows the tricks, and jumps into the role of medium until actually comes to feel the role. And somehow, she has ended up in bed with her dead lover whom she wraps in a tarp and buries under cover of night.
The most skeptical of readers can enjoy the shenanigans in Train Line and the skillful depiction of Naomi, a woman on the edge of society, among people on the edge of the living. "There is no death," is the mantra of the medium. The thought that the death are here among us may ease our longings, but may also create our nightmares.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at APL.

Try searching for After Life to see if APL owns related versions of the work.

To Top