The More Beyond
by Jill Charlotte Thomas

Published: 2023-08-08T00:0
Paperback : 208 pages
0 members reading this now
0 club reading this now
0 members have read this book
"In an enthralling character-driven drama, Jill Thomas highlights the impact of parental neglect and chronic narcissism on children who are left to fend for themselves. Readers who enjoy books like The Catcher in the Rye will love The More Beyond." —Pikasho Deka for Readers' ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


"In an enthralling character-driven drama, Jill Thomas highlights the impact of parental neglect and chronic narcissism on children who are left to fend for themselves. Readers who enjoy books like The Catcher in the Rye will love The More Beyond." —Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

"Sharply drawn characters and brilliant dialogue give us a fascinating look beneath the placid surface of wealth, where dark currents swirl.” —Billy Hayes, author of Midnight Express

Morton Guthrie is a trust fund baby who doesn’t trust anyone. People disappoint. The world may be an oyster for some, but for her it’s only proven to be empty. Her father is busy with his boyfriends, her mother is occupied having nervous breakdowns. Morton is obsessed with suicide. After two back-to-back attempts, she lands in a psychiatric hospital, and just when she has begun to trust her psychiatrist and herself, her parents invite her to join them in Manhattan for a three-day weekend. They’re staying at The Sherry-Netherland hotel on the twenty-third floor, a long drop. Against Medical Advice, Morton heads to New York in search of parental love, but narcissistic love is conditional, and she is fragile. Will she survive, or is life too big for her? Perhaps happiness for Morton is learning to live with one eye closed.

Editorial Review

No Editorial Review Currently Available


I was in the round hospital overlooking the Pacific. Not by choice. I was driven by ambulance. A 51/50. That’s what they called me. They kept me locked up for the mandatory 72-hour hold. It’s the law, they kept telling me. Attempting suicide is illegal in the state of California. And I’d failed. The successful ones were at the morgue.

I was on the fourth floor. They wouldn’t let me use the elevator to go outside and smoke. No getting around it. I smoke when I get nervous, and I was nervous. Anyway, the door that led to the elevator was permanently locked and when it opened, you’d think some dignitary was visiting, what with all the bells and whistles. On top of that, the nurses’ station was right next to it. Besides, I didn’t have any smokes or matches. I’d have had to bum them.

The question was, how did I get here? I remembered Clive’s voice from last night, but I didn’t remember calling him. Another question. Who got me in the ambulance? I hope they didn’t have to break down my front door. My father bought me that, direct from Italy, an antique. He’d be heartbroken if that door were damaged.

My lips on down to my chest were stained black from the liquid charcoal. A nurse popped her head into my room to tell me that my parents were on the phone.

“They’re waiting on the payphone at the end of the hall.”?Everything was blurred and out of focus, but I remember my father’s words.

We’ll be there.

I went back into my bedroom, into the bathroom, and rubbed my skin raw trying to get the black stain off. I didn’t want them to see me like this. I waited the entire day sitting on a wooden bench in the corridor. I didn’t want to miss them when they arrived.

“You have to eat something.” A nurse passed me in the corridor. “You’ve

missed breakfast and lunch.”


“And breakfast. Now dinner. Am I going to have to write you up for an eating disorder?”


“Yes, dinner. Would you like me to bring you a tray? You’re supposed to eat in the dining room, but I guess this one time won’t matter.”

“My parents were supposed to be here. Do you think they got in a car accident?”

“I’m sure they’re fine. I’ll see what I can do about a meal for you.” She walked away.

The freeway can be a really dangerous place. Everyone rushing from here trying to get there. Faster. Faster. Construction. Potholes. On ramps. Off ramps. Drivers aren’t watching. Speeding up. Changing lanes. Tires blow out. Slamming on brakes. It’s a madhouse out there.

I phoned my parents. The phone rang and rang. No answer. If there had been a car accident, the police wouldn’t know how to get in touch with me. I put the receiver down. Where could they be? I dialed their number again. Just in case.

“Hello?” my mother answered.?“Mother!”?“Morton?”

“Yes! Oh, I was so worried, I thought you got in a car accident.”

“No,” she replied.

“Oh.” Silence.

“Well, I thought you’d both be coming here today. To visit. Me.”

“No.”?“But I thought—”?“Well, we’ve changed our mind.”?“Oh.”?“Is that all?”?“Yeah, sure. Is everything okay?”?“We’re fine. I must go, your father’s calling.”?“But—so you’re not coming to see me?”?“We have tickets for the theatre tonight,” and she hung up.

I stood in the corridor in my hospital gown and placed the receiver back on the wall, thinking maybe I’d imagined it all. view abbreviated excerpt only...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

1. Did you like the book, and if so, what did you like the most?

2. Why do you think the author chose to write this story?

3. Which scene from The More Beyond stuck with you the most?

4. If you had a chance to ask the author a question, what would you ask?

5. If you were making a movie of The More Beyond, who would you cast?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
There are no user reviews at this time.
Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...