- Fizzy Thoughts: Tethered


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amy MacKinnon
257 pages

Ti, over at Book Chatter and other stuff, wrote an excellent review of this book. I won't be offended at all if you just read hers. In fact, I recommend it. We both received the book through the Read It Forward program, and it's a good thing, too, because Ti is a much more careful reader (not to mention a more thoughtful reviewer) than I am...she was able to clear up a little nagging question I had over the ending.

You know, I'm really tempted to just say I liked this book. It was good. You should read it. The end.

But I won't.

This book is about Clara Marsh. Clara works with dead people. Sorry, couldn't resist. This was a serious book. I'll try to be (somewhat) serious.

Take two. Or is it three?

Clara is an undertaker. And it could be argued that she prefers working with dead bodies over interacting with live ones. Clara is uncomfortable around people, including her boss Linus, who is the closest thing she's ever had to a father. When Clara discovers a little girl hanging out in the funeral parlor, she is forced out of her comfort zone and into interactions with a whole new set of people. Because Trecie (the little girl) may be involved in a local mystery, Clara teams up (okay, she's not really a team player, but you get the idea) with the police to find out what's going on.

I enjoyed Clara...she was different and she had depths and a history I certainly wasn't expecting when I started this book. I also enjoyed the mystery. For a fairly short book, there's a lot going on. And you may think you've got it all figured out when suddenly, the author pitches a change-up (by the way, I am so not a baseball fan, I have no idea where that came from).

This book also felt dark to me. It sort of has the same feel as Origin...kind of gloomy. Even after the end (in which the author goes places I wasn't expecting) I never felt any sense of extreme joy. And yet, it's not cry your eyes out depressing, either. It's matter-of-fact. I don't think I've ever described a book that way, but there you have it.

And wow, I hope I just didn't totally insult the author by calling her book matter-of-fact. The thing is, I like matter-of-fact. After spending 200 plus pages with Clara, I think the ending was perfect. Except for that little question I had that Ti resolved for me...I still think that could have been a wee bit clearer. But I can't tell you about that...it would ruin the story.

And Ti's right...this would be a fantastic book club book. It just screams "discuss me!" There are issues around faith, and death, and Clara's character, and Linus, and the children. Not to mention the whole undertaker as career thing.

One last thing. Sorry Clara, but I want to be cremated.

4 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

Interesting review. This book is on my wish list.

Ti said...

I love your ending comment. Thanks for the kudos but we figured it out together!

Dar said...

Love your review Jill. I must read this book. I don't mind dark books in between others so I think I'd like it too. I love this cover-so creepy.

trish said...

Somehow I ended up with this book, and I was excited to read it before, but now I'm even MORE excited!!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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