The Next: A Novel by Stephanie Gangi. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2016. 312 pages. ****
Forty-seven-year-old Joanna DeAngelis is dying wrong. Forget the touching end of life scenes in the movies, Joanna is angry, bitter and wants revenge. Her daughters want to connect one last time and to find peace in saying good-bye. Instead their mother pines for "Ned" her much younger boyfriend, who has abandoned her without an explanation. When Joanna can talk her daughter into giving her a phone, she spends her remaining time cyberstalking Ned and his young, glamorous, famous, dermatologist girlfriend. Joanna enacts her revenge when she remains connected to this world and is able to torture Ned.
This is a dark tale of karma, betrayal, love and the afterlife. Gangi has created a story that will have the reader looking intently at shadows, jumping at unexplained sounds, and questioning life's choices. A true ghost story that will leave you guessing as to how it is all going to end. I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I am repelled by the darkness of it and yet, fascinated wth the complicated, inventive plot. A great book for discussion about ghosts and what happens to people who die angry.
I received a copy for a review.
Stephanie Gangi is a poet and novelist who lives, works and writes in New York City.