The author examines death and dying with rare grace in this intelligent novel. Her self-image “continuously devalued,” Barbara Sue Herbert’s spirit is crushed as a child and she lives much of her life in “the between”—that time “after death and before rebirth” according to Tibetan Buddhists. When her unhappy marriage to a philandering hunk ends in divorce, an older and wiser Barbara is finally reborn: her self-image enhanced by her independence and professional success. But before she can get too happy, she is diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic cancer and told she has only a few months to live. Amidst the pain and suffering, there is also discovery and acceptance. Drawing on the insights of Buddhism, holistic medicine and modern researchers like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the author has crafted a provocative story.


Publishers Weekly Five-Star Review

Debra Lovio-Samson’s Between is a work of art, but also an act of love. It chronicles the passage of one woman through illness and dying; but it also bears witness for the witnesses of such trials, honors the attendants and the watchers and the waiting ones who inhabit the hospital rooms and hospices that precede death. The novel is exquisitely written, and for its wealth of compassion and inquiry, I’d rank it among the best books–on any subject–I’ve read in a decade.

David Keplinger, Director, Creative Writing Program, American University