A Taste of the Afterlife is a comic novel that doubles as a meditation on self-awareness and on the afterlife. The story is set in a Pennsylvania suburb in the 1980s, where a school cook and an algebra teacher each come upon a portal in an unused classroom that, once traversed, creates an invisible duplicate of the person who passes through it. The duplicate cannot interact with the physical world, but can move within it and observe others - including his or her original self - while remaining unseen. The duplicate can also "report back" to their original self, but to explain how would involve a few spoilers.

Before the portal intervened, Clara Feutageaux was beginning her career as a teacher at Emerson High School. Clara’s search for a dignified station in life is complicated by her twin sister Carla, who seems quite content at a far less reputable job. It doesn’t help that they are roommates, and it really doesn’t help that they are identical twins – twins with a secret that dates to their father’s death five years before.

Meanwhile, across town, sous chef Toby Blue has gotten in a fight with Chief Chef Crevoillet (or “Chef Croissant” as he was called in the kitchen) over their conflicting culinary styles. Toby quits out of principle, and soon finds himself running the school cafeteria at Emerson – his very own alma mater. “Oh how far I haven’t come,” is the verdict he passes on himself. Toby will spend his time at Emerson feeling his way toward an understanding of his true culinary style, and of his true self.

Along the way, Clara and Toby encounter a restauranteur who has trouble distinguishing his love of food from his love of God, a femme fatale who keeps seeking bad boys and turning up good ones, a wad of cash and a bag of white powder that may (or may not) be what they seem, and a school full of students who express their affection for the teacher and the cook in ways that look like anything but affection.

You can buy the e-book at this link, and you can buy the paperback edition at this link.


$4.00 for the e-book; $12.50 for the paperback

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