- Paperback: 204 pages
- Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing Ltd (August 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909841196
- ISBN-13: 978-1909841192
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,537,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Friendship Cemetery Paperback – August 25, 2013
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The narrator, Emma Grace Lee, is almost nineteen and has a strange affection for Friendship Cemetery, Columbus, Mississippi. ‘A few benches are also scattered around. I guess this is so that the ghosts who come out at night can sit and chat with each other,’ observes Emma.
Emma’s friends are Pea, Beau, and Tyrone, all of whom are well drawn. Pea is fragile and vulnerable, yet has a strong will, and is a lovely creation. Tyrone is shy and withdrawn, while Beau is clever and hiding a secret. Their parents and neighbours are distinct human beings, with their tragedies and petty jealousies, too.
Throughout, the observations and description put you in Emma’s world, where she is still suffering the loss of her father who died in New Orleans, a man whom her mother seems to have expunged from memory. ‘When you lose someone there is always one more thing you wanted to say to them.’
The voice of Emma is captured perfectly – reminding me a little of Harper Lee’s Scout Finch, despite an age difference of several years. There’s the humour, pathos, compassion, irony and even satire.
It’s a Southern Gothic tale, not just because of the ghostliness of the cemetery, but also the healing ability of Tyrone’s mother; and the general behaviour of many citizens and their concealed past that is gradually disinterred. As Emma muses, ‘Willowbrook is the mental health facility connected to Baptist Hospital. There are no willows, and no brook. I think a crazy person named it.’
In truth, you’d be crazy to miss this book.
Great character development lets you relate to the scenes in the book from the point of view of the very immature protagonist. The author has clearly gotten into the head of someone who thinks and acts like a typical 15 or 16 year old girl from a family with a better than thou attitude. New characters are frequently added which keeps the tale moving.
There are richly developed descriptions that make the book an interesting read but it was the humor that really kept me glued to the story line.
"Peoples' sex lives should be kept secret, and where they belong - in the back seat of a car."
and lines like:
"Well, if it is God's house, why didn't he make the seats more comfortable? Those pews are too hard. And why he does want all those people in his house? Doesn't he like to be alone sometimes?"
These are really funny when in context in the book.
There are tidbits of wisdom that are worth underlining such as
"That's why people have funerals, just to get used to the concept that someone is actually dead".
While not an action book, each chapter leaves you waiting for the next one to start to see what is going to happen to these characters and you keep looking forward to the tidbits of wisdom and humor.
To top it off, the book is a bit of a mystery/detective novel especially in the character development area. AND, the ending is totally unexpected even though there were clues setting the ending up. It would be a real spoiler to discuss it so get the book and read to the end.
All together, a good read. Books with good humor are difficult to find. So I really enjoyed this book.
I have both the e-book on Kindle and the hard copy. The printing in the hard copy has a lot of spaces in the words such as ' the' is sometimes spelled 't he' and 'there' is sometimes spelled 'th ere' which is distracting but does not effect the tale at all.
I finished reading the book and am glad I did not buy the hard copy (bought Kindle version). I would not recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Emma Grace is an 18 year old girl living in Columbus, Mississippi with her...Read more