The Novel: Between Here and Hereafter

Through the window of life and death

Through the window of life and death

Between Here and Hereafter 

Themes

Scratch virtually any person in western culture and you will find unresolved grief and/or fear of death blocking happiness. Enter the main character, Miriam Kate Unger, who knows what happens after death and understands grief like no one else: she was born a conjoined twin and at age six, the twins were separated to live “normally.” Her twin Katie, however, died as did their shared lower leg. Miriam, with literally one leg in life and one in death, continued talking to Katie about what death was like. This knowledge becomes a bridge between here and hereafter giving us insights and strategies to live more fully.

Through the arc of the story, Miriam teaches her client Lucy how to deal with her father’s death, and Lucy teaches Miriam, who has been living her life entirely twisted toward death, about what is important in life.

While the subject matter appears to be heavy, the treatment of it and the characters themselves are buoyant. The simple prose draws you into this extraordinary story that will forever change your relationship to loss and death. This book is easily visualized as a quirky and fascinating motion picture reminiscent of Harold and Maud.

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