“After my wife, Elizabeth Church, was murdered by thebellman Alfonse Padgett in the Essex Hotel, she did not leave me.”
Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in anart gallery. The sparks are immediate, leading quickly to a marriage that isdear, erotically charged, and brief. In Howard Norman’s spellbinding and movingnovel, the gleam of the marriage and the circumstances of Elizabeth’s murderare 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 aNorwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of hisfilms, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intensecat-and-mouse game between the two men. For another, Sam has begun “seeing”Elizabeth—not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost everyevening, and watching her line up books on a small beach. What at first seemssimply a 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 love as absolute redemption—from one of ourmost compelling storytellers at the height of his talents.