You Can Live Forever
'Few disappointments compare to the loss of eternity...'
Alice's father William is a part-time arsonist, rejected husband, ladies' man, fraudster - and a very devoted father. Mother Oonagh has led her children to the true religion of The Unbelievable Potential of Human Beings where they are promised immortality, paradise and communion with intergalactic beings. Brother Peter is a deacon in the Church - for him, The Plain Truth just is, like marmalade or the Grand Canyon. But Alice is faltering; she's losing the knack of living forever. Torn between loyalty to her father, increasing doubt about the Church's continually shifting doctrine and the distinctly immoral feelings aroused whenever she is close to the gorgeous outcast, Jude, Alice struggles to reconcile a university education with the basic principles of impending immortality in the company of the Worldwide Saints. And there are all kinds of questions that need answers. Above all, is life on earth really just a pornographic reality show for fallen angels? How can she have a brain and still believe? But if she gives up now, it's bound to turn out to be true. In this intricate and satisfying debut, Julie Maxwell writes with dry, dark humour, wit and intelligence about sex and the sect and the heart of darkness. This is a world reminiscent of Jeanette Winterson's "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit", but one that is infinitely more disturbed and disturbing.