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The Next

by Stephanie Gangi

The Next by Stephanie Gangi X
The Next by Stephanie Gangi
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  • Published Oct 2016
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 18 member reviews
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  • Beverly S. (Chesterton, IN)
    Make "The Next" your next read.
    Can a novel be sad and fun at the same time? The answer is yes! Love and death and revenge and even ghosts, conquer all in "The Next."

    This story presents a Mother who is gravely ill. Be prepared to meet her two daughters, one ex-husband, one sexy boyfriend who is fifteen years younger, and a very lovable 90 pound poodle named Tom. You will enjoy this novel.

    Warning...be prepared to laugh and cry because it will grab you and take you on a special reading adventure!

    I promise you will love this book.
  • Colleen T. (Lakewood, CO)
    The Next by Stephanie Gangi
    The Next is a really good book. It's very well written and the characters have depth and feeling. The story tells of love, loss, grief, revenge and redemption in such a way that I couldn't put it down. I really like the characters and their struggle with the things that life gives a person and how they come away wiser and happier than in the beginning. I recommend this book to everyone just because it's that good!
  • Elizabeth L. (Salem, OR)
    Excellent
    I rarely read the ghost/horror genre. But I really liked this book.

    The writing is excellent. The scenes are very vivid and while the characters don't break new ground (with the exception of Joanna) they are well drawn.

    Joanna was a revelation. I found her obsession with Ned before (and after) her death inexplicable and self absorbed as it hurt her daughters so much. But the end chapter really explained why, without seeming like a cop-out. And I teared up in the last few paragraphs, a rarity.

    Finally, while I have always had cats, if my dog could be like Tom I might reconsider.
  • Katherine D. (Rochester, NY)
    The Next
    Ms Gangie has introduced a modern twist to the ordinary "ghost" story. However, to call this a Ghost story does not begin to do it justice. The language is lyrical, and includes a generous dose of humor "Her self floats about in a luminous ether". "Her transmigration leaves her phantom limbed- a full body amputee".


    As we meet Joanna, she is at home in a "hospice" situation. Her daughters want to control her actions, for her own good, and are suggesting a round the clock caregiver. Joanna clearly has other ideas, and is on a mission to exact revenge on Ned, a lover who has simply walked out the door, again, a repeat performance of actions he took earlier in their relationship. Although
    she managed to recover from the first abandonment, she is unable to bounce back from this gratuitous repeat of history. She is house bound and nearly bed-bound in her final fight with cancer. Her cell phone is her only hope as she plans to carry out her mission of plotting a suitably painful revenge, and it becomes a handy conduit which she uses obsessively to track Ned's new life, new wife, and baby-to-be minute by excruciating minute. She is totally obsessed with her fantasies of delivering the appropriate revenge to this thoughtless inconsiderate heartsmasher Ned.


    Her anger is so extreme that it survives her death, and moves with her right into the Next world. As a ghost, she communicates by cellphone and the internet. Sensed, though unseen by her daughters, her dog, and others, a truly "Mad" Joanna proceeds to use her powers to possess Ned's body. She controls his speech and actions in truly frightening ways.


    The only problem I had was the way the story simply ran out of steam after Joanna departs. If the ending was a bit disappointing, the sheer beauty of the telling made this a book I would recommend.
  • Maureen S. (Huntington Station, NY)
    The Next
    Wow- I think we all wonder what the afterlife will be like. What will be our last feeling? Will it be one of love, fear, anticipation or revenge?

    Joanna, our main character is in her mid forties and is dying of breast cancer. Joanna has her next life planned. This fantastic story is a ghost story and a love story taking place in New York City and on social media. It is the story of relationships. Mother-daughter, siblings, mother-lover and yes the family pet and how they all handle death.

    The story is profound, yet comic. It is fast moving and would make for enjoyable discussion.
  • Monica P. (Cleves, OH)
    Still Reeling
    Ahhh, talented literature at its best. The descriptions are so good that at times I couldn't read more than an hour or so. It was so intense I almost couldn't take it. This is no light beach read. This will have you feeling all the feels. Love, revenge, illness, motherhood, sisterhood, being a woman, being a daughter, fear, insecurity in relationships, ageism. Even being a dog. I had to take this one in sips, not gulps, but WOW!
  • Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)
    Intriguing debut novel: The Next by Stephanie Gangi
    Spoiler Alert
    Death is not the end.
    Ghosts have POWER.
    "It's good to be invisible."
    Revenge is miles beyond sweet.
    How lucky one is to have a "dog on duty."

    This fabulous book is packed with a multitude of themes. Even the DEDICATION ("You know who you are" pulls a reader in and never lets go. What are the components of love? The strength of a mother-sibling relationship. All this with the vivid backdrop of NYC. Check out the author's picture in the back of the book --- is she not an exact Joanna? Also, the reader can wrap his/her mind about the significance of the title. Don't miss this one!!
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