Reviewed by: Joan Herron, Reference Assistant
Suggested Age: Adult
What is the book about?: After Annie’s death, her good friend Katherine receives a mysterious UPS package. The letter inside explains that Annie is sending her ashes packed in her favorite red tennis shoes, along with detailed instructions for what is to follow. As Annie’s son is quoted in her obituary: “Mom’s gone, but believe me, she is not done – not done at all.” Katherine and four other women are asked to embark on a “traveling funeral” of sorts, and along the way they learn much more about Annie, themselves, and each other.
My review: Have you ever thought much about what you want your friends to remember about you, or learn in the process? While we tend to avoid any thoughts of our own demise, it is intriguing to experience this somewhat painlessly following Annie’s journey. Relationships are so important to all of us, and even when we lose someone close, there are lessons to be learned and a future to be experienced. Each chapter of the book is concentrates on a different friend’s story, and the reader feels like a part of the trip. Where would you fit in? How would you handle each situation? To complicate all the feelings evoked on the trip, Annie has included an audio tape to be played at each location. Imagine hearing your departed friend’s voice after the fact. The friends’ additions to “the funeral book” give us insight to the development of their own stories and their combined story. As Marie says, “these women are a jumble of fineness.” Along the reading path, we all find books that never grow old and deserve to be revisited. Annie Freeman is one such volume. I dare you to join the traveling funeral!
About FDL Reads
Welcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library. Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each Tuesday at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available. If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently. We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!