Monday, September 23, 2013

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Travelling Funeral by Kris Radish

For Katherine Givens and the four women about to become her best friends, the adventure begins with a UPS package. Inside is a pair of red sneakers filled with ashes and a note that will forever change their lives. Katherine's oldest and dearest friend, the irrepressible Annie Freeman, left one final request -- a traveling funeral -- and she wants the most important women in her life as "pallbearers."

From Sonoma to Manhattan, Katherine, Laura, Rebecca, Jill, and Marie will carry Annie's ashes to the special places in her life. At every stop there's a surprise encounter and a small miracle waiting, and as they whoop it up across the country, attracting interest wherever they go, they share their deepest secrets -- tales of broken hearts and second chances, missed opportunities and new beginnings. And as they grieve over what they've lost, they discover how much is still possible if only they can unravel the secret Annie left them.

I was so excited to start reading this book after reading the back cover.  I was in the mood for a girl's weekend, even if through the pages of a book. And a travelling funeral?  What a fantastic concept!

It turns out that the concept and promise of the book are not enough to carry it out.  Slow to start, the cast of characters are introduced in their daily lives as they learn of Annie'a wishes and make plans to honor her on a trip, literally, down memory lanes. Flashbacks and memories reveal their history with the titular character and evoke emotion from the reader. The writing turns repetitive, continually reminding us why these women have gathered and what they are to do on this journey.  We know why the are travelling, We know what they hope to accomplish. Stop telling us the same thing over and over and lets get to the gems they can offer.  Long winded and melodramatic, the delivery ruined what should have been a life affirming, witty journey for the reader.  This road trip suffered mechanical troubles.

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