From Publishers Weekly
Gluth probes the effects of death in his creepily enchanting debut, a delicate narrative consisting of a chain of lives connected by deaths. The first death concerns an elderly writer named Margaret Kroftis living alone with her dog; a fire starts in her house while she's out for a walk, and she is devastated to learn that her dog, trapped in the house, has perished. Months later, completing the last scrap she will write (My Watery Death), Margaret dies in her bed. Margaret returns in the next section, involving a group of high school students: Beth is composing a script about Margaret in her first foray as a writer; however, she is distracted by her feverish attraction to Peter, a musician in a band whose singer, J, kills himself. Later, Beth and Peter, older and living together, befriend a waiflike neighbor and amateur photographer, Mira, who is killed in a car accident. The dead move among these meandering vignettes like ghosts with the lack of cohesiveness ably compensated by Gluth's impressionistic and dreamy prose. (Jan.)
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In this debut novel, Margaret is a writer leading a solitary existence, with only her dog as companion. One day, when she goes out for a walk, her house burns down with her dog inside. Margaret thus begins to reflect on death in all of its permutations, even as she finishes up the last writing she will ever do. This reverie continues in surrealistic, daydreaming fashion throughout Gluth's slim novel, which relates other tales of loss. High school student Beth, who is writing about Margaret, falls for Peter, whose band mate commits suicide; later, when Beth and Peter are a couple, a young neighbor who aspires to be a photographer dies in an accident. VERDICT There is not much plot in this evocative, emotional work, and it is not needed. In short, impressionistic sentences that soon become hypnotic, Gluth captures the atmosphere brilliantly and leaves the reader in awe of his ability. Readers looking for something different will appreciate this work--and, given his writing style, might wish that he also applied his talents to poetry in the future.--Lisa Rohrbaugh, National Coll., Youngstown, OH --Library Journal, March 1, 2010