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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Moore, Christopher: Practical Demonkeeping | Main | Ruddick, James: Death at the Priory »

Ellis, Rhian: After Life

  

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Penguin Books © 2001, 292 pages [amazon]
4 stars

At the beginning of After Life there is a corpse to be disposed of: "First I had to get his body into the boat" runs the first sentence. The logistics of the body's disposal, the fear that it will be discovered once buried, the protagonist's dread of being found out, and the mystery of how Peter Morton came to be in this situation in the first place, wrongfully dead, form the tense backbone of Rhian Ellis's debut novel. But After Life is not so much a suspense novel--though it is suspenseful--as it is the slow unfolding of the life of the protagonist, Naomi Ash.

The logistics of the body's disposal, the fear that it will be discovered once buried, the protagonist's dread of being found out, and the mystery of how Peter Morton came to be in this situation in the first place, wrongfully dead, form the tense backbone of Rhian Ellis's debut novel.Naomi, a medium at the time of Peter's death, grew up as the daughter of a medium in New Orleans. There, ensconced in a dumbwaiter in her grandfather's house, Naomi would rap on the walls of her mother's séance room, doing her bit for the family business, or she would pretend to be the disembodied voice of some client's dead child. Later, mother and daughter moved north to a spiritualist colony in New York state, a town whose eccentric residents are, for the most part, psychics of one sort or another.

After Life is, in large part, a book about Naomi's relationship with her mother, both of them flawed, believable characters who are bound to one another by ineffably strong ties. It is also about how events, large and small--unkindnesses, deaths, thoughtlessness--can shatter one's happiness, and how survivors go on living nonetheless.

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.