Thursday, June 15, 2006

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral

Well, I have finished it. Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral is another notch in my library card... It was written by Kris Radish of

I have mixed reactions to the book.

Number one, I cried the whole entire way through it. It was really, really moving.

The story centers around the death of one Annie G. Freeman, free spirit, mother, professor, do-gooder, and friend. She dies of cancer, but spends the weeks leading up to her death making arrangements for a traveling funeral for herself.

Some weeks after she has passed, a package arrives on the doorstep of her friend, Katherine, which contains Annie's ashes, and all the details of the funeral. The entire thing has already been paid for, plane tickets, rental cars, hotel rooms, and more. All that is left is for her best friends to take time off work, away from families, away from their every day lives, and go.

The traveling funeral makes stops in New Mexico, Florida, New York, Minnesota, and Washington State. Annie's ashes are flung far and wide at each stop, and little events occur at each stop that assure the women that Annie knew what she was doing when she set this whole shindig up.

But it also gives them time to reflect back on Annie and their friendships with her.

The book is written entirely in the present tense, and has a kind of lyrical or poetic quality about it. It was extremely moving, and you felt the grief and sorrow these women were grappling with at the death of one they loved so much.

On the downside... (yes, there's usually a downside)

The author nearly crams down your throat how magical and mystical and miraculous everything is that these women touch. Everything is amazing, and you will remember that!!!! THE WOMEN this and THE WOMEN that... I did get a little tired of that after a point.

Secondly, the book went from being a wonderful story of friendship, love, and loss into something of the author's political statement of the world at large. It delved into politics, activism, gay rights, war, immigration, and just about every other cause you could think of. To me, that truly detracted from the story.

the Lit Chicks are reading this book because we read another Radish book back in April entitled "The Elegant Gathering of White Snows". Kris had called in to the book club and we all just fell in love with her during the course of our conversation. I picked up Annie Freeman, after Kris told us that the movie rights had been optioned, and we all decided we would read another book if she would call in again. I've finally arranged the second call in with the publisher. But I will be definitely interested to see what the other girls think of this particular book. I prefered "Elegant Gathering" a lot more.

Still worth a read if you want a good chick lit type book sometime!

0 pearl(s) of wisdom: