Life After Life by Jill McCorkle

This is my first Jill McCorkle book- and I must say that I really enjoyed Jill’s way with words and the story-line she created.

The longest and most expensive journey you will ever take is the one to yourself…..

Death is a part of life. It’s not a part of life that many choose to focus on; but it is a part of life. For Joanna, the hospice volunteer at Pine Haven retirement center, death is something that quite literally helped save her life. Joanna, through choices- some good, some bad- had her experience; and it helped put some of life in perspective. While at Pine Haven, she helps the dying let go, and helps make the end of life as comfortable as possible for all involved.

Each resident at Pine Haven- Sadie, Stanley, Marge, Rachel, and┬áToby are at Pine Haven for various reasons. For some, death is near; for others- death will be coming, but there’s still time- time to make amends, time to right wrongs, time to make sure their family is in a good place. Sadly, there is time for regret for all the residents- regrets of what could have been or the way they should have lived.

Each resident has a story- and some of the stories overlap with Pine Haven’s workers and visitor- Joanna, CJ, and Abby. Jill McCorkle weaves all the stories, intertwines them in ways that at first the reader might not see how it connects- but when they do- it’s moments of greatness.

When I finished reading last night, I felt a mixture of emotions- happiness and sadness, mainly. I enjoyed how the story ended, for the most part, and I thought parts of the last few chapters were very fitting for the characters. Is it a perfect ending? Not exactly- there are some things I wished that were different; but it’s a good ending. Strongly suggest this as a book-club book or with a book-loving friend who will want to discuss- because there is plenty about this book that could (and will!) lead to a great discussion.