Sunday, February 3, 2013
This unuiqe take on the afterlife was the second book on the Book Club's reading list. And boy it could not have been any more different from Cranford of last month.
Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, is the story of a young girl who dies crossing the road. Suddenly she wakes up on a cruise ship to the island where everyone goes to wait out their time after death. She is greeted by her grandmother who is astonishingly young and is made to go through orientation where she learns everythign she needs to for the life beyond death. The twist? Oh nothing much, except that in the afterlife you live backwards! Meaning if it took you thirteen years to reach the end of your life, it will take you thirteen years to reach the end of your death and you will slowly grow younger, until you are ready to be reborn in the world once more.
Not only was this a very new and wonderful take on the afterlife, but I believe it was well written! I fell in love with the characters and understood their difficulties and feelings in this post-life life. The main character, Liz, is no more than a teenager when her life is ended and she is understandbly upset and unable to more on, much as people on this side of things are. The author does a great job of bringing life to these dead people! I loved the writing and plot and all the little bits in between.
That being said, not everyone in the book club was as thrilled with this work as I was. Some said that it was not what they expected, that they thought the main character was a bit annoying. Well, I guess it isn't for everyone. But if you are looking for a fresh take on what happens when life ends and death begins, this may be the book for you. I would recommend everyone read it, if only for the point of expanding your horizons and thoughts about what occurs after you cross over. I think many people will be pleasantly surprised by this one, I know I was.