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on October 31, 2015
Although this is a beautifully written story I found it somewhat repetitive after about 75% of the read. It's an ideal account of women taking care of women with a fair amount of question tossed in between. Maybe I'm jaded but I found after a while it was hard to believe. Yes, Annie Freeman was an obviously wonderful women but she had faults and made mistakes even if this book tries to portray her as somewhat of a saint. I found it difficult to believe there are nurturing women all over the place who fulfilled her wishes in the ways they did and still remained human. I wanted more mistakes or realities. I wanted more believability. On my proverbial scale of 1-10, I'd rank this about a 7 and no more. Sweet tale but I question its authenticity.
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on August 12, 2013
I read this for my book club, and I was disappointed in the selection because the book did not sound like something I would want to read. However, I've been pleasantly surprised before, and I hoped at least for a quick few hours of entertainment, if not enlightenment. I was disappointed that the book could not even meet my already low expectations. The book has zero character development, no real plot to make up for the absence of character development, and the dialogue is wooden, stilted and far from what any real person would ever say. The non-developed characters are all basically the same character, and they're all ridiculous and unbelievable.

I paid $0.01 used on amazon, and I way overpaid. I plan to throw the book in the trash, as I don't want some poor soul to stumble across it and read it. Their time would be better used staring at a blank wall for a few hours.
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on September 6, 2012
My daughter considers this a must-read book. It's a lot of fun for a funeral book.

Annie Freeman's friend receives an unexpected box. It is her best friend's ashes encased in the red tennis shoes Annie treasured. Annie gives detailed instructions for calling in all her friends to travel across the country, and, remarkably they all do except her hospice newest friend who feels compelled to remain with her patients for their final journey, but she stays in touch via cell phone, and joins the others toward the end of the journey.

Annie's friends are able to fill in mysterious gaps in her life traveling to the places important to Annie in her life. They are steeped in unusual forms of Nature and colorful characters Annie's knew. They make touching connections with strangers being broken open by her loss and being together. As is true with the death of someone precious to us, they are each transformed--by taking off work and daily routines, coming together, traveling together, talking and drinking all night. As an old RN and therapist, I was less enchanted with the alcohol intake night after night for health and mental health reasons. But, in my 20s I would have loved that part, too. I was also disappointed in the lack of racial diversity of the book, Annie living and dying in Northern California as she did, but the class diversity and age differences were interesting and unusual. An old woman's blooming sexuality was downright radical! (Note: yes, we do. And it's not icky. Age is kind of cool.)

This is a worthwhile book for women who want to read a next-generation feminist novel and tolerate the lack of racial diversity for the diversities mentioned before. I laughed and cried. Couldn't ask much more of a book. Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral
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on August 4, 2017
I loved the women in this novel. The friendships formed, and all the people they came into contact with during this travelling funeral! This is a novel that truly makes you think about life, and living, and dying. The only part I didn't like, was at times there were page after page of what seemed like way too much repetition and descriptions, I literally skipped several passages at a time. But, the story was great, the characters were well developed, I would read more from this author.
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on August 31, 2017
My six best friends make up The Hip Chicks Wine and Book Club and have read many great books in the past six years. This might be our favorite of all time. How we related! We have actually take several road trips and shared conversations, laughs and yes, quite a bit of wine! We want to do our own but just cry when we think of one of us dying. At least now, we have a beautiful example to follow!
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on March 8, 2014
This was maybe the worst book I've read. I kept wanting to care about these people. That's what is supposed to happen in a character driven novel, isn't it? I just didn't care a fig about any of these self absorbed women. The story has no rise and fall, no twists and turns, no conflict and resolution, nothing. And I never figured out why all these women were so tied to Annie, or really what their relationship with her was, except cursorily. My friend recommended the book, and so I did finish it, just in case it picked up somewhere, but it didn't. I wish there was a minus star rating.
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on March 30, 2015
The basic concept of the traveling funeral entices the reader early in the book, and the introduction of the various characters adds to the interest, but the author appears to feel the need to add every type of scenario from stalking to attempted suicide into the plot without providing enough background to make them believable and connected. By the time the characters actually start their funeral journey, the plot loses plausibility and the book moves from a good story about friendship to a laughable plot that becomes ridiculous. Character development is shallow never allowing the reader to truly know the characters' motives.
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on December 7, 2017
I could not put this book down. The journey of these women - all unknown to each other but known to the deceased is captivating. One wishes for that same connectivity that they found with each other. A wonderful read.
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on September 14, 2017
Book shows the strength of friendship but it is a bit "over the top" in being a book of reality. There are many lessons that can be felt in the book and a book that shows the empowerment of women. Certainly a book that "hits" you differently depending on where you are in your life.
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on July 22, 2014
Cool idea, but too much pathos. Too much soul searching. Too many words. The same ideas were expressed over and over again in the same vocabulary but from different points of view. The original premise was so improbable that you had to swallow a big lump of doubt even to make it to the story. Great moments (like the airport) were overwhelmed by the single dimension of the characters. I finished the book, but barely.
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