A reflective, compassionate contemplation of death and change.
By Jed Smith ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
In Smith’s novel, a middle-aged man is forced to confront a life of lies in the wake of his mother’s death. Emory Harrell is summoned back to his hometown of Rushton, North Carolina, by an urgent call from Spencer House hospice. He must leave behind his chance of becoming a senior partner at an Atlanta law firm, his beautiful and intelligent fiancee, and any sense of control he had. His mother passes away soon after his arrival, her last words to him being “Quit trying so hard.” Emory begins to volunteer at Spencer House and meets Agnes, the nurse’s aide who was present at his mother’s death. He begins to question his secure lifestyle and the boundary between life and death. This heartfelt story follows Emory as he unravels his carefully constructed life, leading to a transcendental, if devastating, rejection of 50 years of living in his head. It is a lesson for the 21st century, showing that reality is something to be embraced, not protected against. The narrative reaches a stunning and unexpected resolution, with Emory and Agnes celebrating “the chance to die while [we’re] still livin’.” This book shines a light on the phantom lives we create, and serves as a reminder that “livin’ for certainty just keeps life flat.”
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: –
Review Posted Online: June 27, 2023