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It’s drizzly here and I just made my first successful vegan, gf pumpkin pie. Score! Oh She Glows guided me on the filling and frozen pie crust took care of that head ache. Pie now and biscuits tomorrow, I like to spread out Thanksgiving. Why not? We only live once.

Or do we? (transitioning!)

Gabrielle Zevin’s Elsewhere presents a version of afterlife/reincarnation I can get behind. In fact, this is going in my new DIY belief system.


Lizzie is only months from turning 16 and getting her license. Or she was. Then she wakes up on a ship full of old people bound for the other side. She’s convinced it’s a dream until she doesn’t wake up.

Once they arrive in Elsewhere, she’s greeted by Betty, her grandma who died before she was born. Only she’s not sick and old. Betty is in the prime of her life. As it turns out, in this afterlife the dead age backwards. Once they’re babies, they’re sent back over the sea to take another spin at life. This sounds wonderful for people who lived long lives and now get to enjoy the full arc again. Not so awesome to a 15-year-old craving freedom and just starting to come into her own. Instead of adulthood, it’s back to being a kid.

I assumed Lizzie would spent her time obsessing over the life she left. There’s some of that, but it gets interesting as she creates a new life for herself with the relatively short time she has here. In less than 16 years she’ll be a baby again, but right now there’s still time for first love, new friends and maybe getting a license and enjoying an avocation.

Oh, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that’s not how it works. A human’s life is a beautiful mess.

I loved that the story doesn’t dwell on what cannot be changed. The lovely concept and light writing style made this a fun, thoughtful read. It’s a beautiful book in every way.