Stephen has returned home to take up from his stepfather as pastor. He has also returned in time to sit at his dying mother’s bed side. He knows she is dying and is writing her eulogy, but at the same time remembering his past, as well as the stories and legends that grew up surrounding his grandfather Jeannot.
Zentner’s debut novel is a slow, atmospheric retelling of those childhood memories interspresed with Stephen’s musings on his current situation and relationships with his family members.
The plot of Living with the dead revolves around the character of Robyn; recently widowed she has moved to LA and taken a job in PR with Portia Kane, a Paris Hilton-type celebrity. Or wannabe celebrity. But when Portia is murdered Robyn finds herself the main suspect and in her confusion makes a break for it. She is helped out by her best friend, Hope Adams, and her boyfriend, Karl Marstsen.
It has been ages since I’ve read any of Armstrong’s books. I think I sorta faded away from them with Broken. But that was way back in 2006, she’s had four more books in the series out since then, as well as some YA books in the ‘verse, not to mention the ooodles of short stories. And while these books are pretty far removed from the cannon there is something so enjoyable about them.
I really liked the opening chapter of this book. De Lint creates a wonderful picture of Jacky Rowan. Recently dumped for being too uninteresting she has spent the night drinking her sorrows away. But on her way home she comes across a strange scene; a gang of bikers hunting down a little man. But when she investigates further there is no trace of it ever having happened, apart from the man’s red cap that she discovered on the ground.
Dina Dalal seldom indulged in looking back at her life with regret or bitterness, or questioning why things had turned out the way the way they had, cheating her of the bright future everyone had predicted for her when she was in school, when her name was still Dina Shroff.
I’m not really sure where to begin with this review. This is a big book, both in the amount of pages and in the amount of ground it covers. Set in an un-named city in India during the State of Emergency after India’s founding it deals with four main characters whose lives intersect in the house of Dina Dalal who hires two tailors and rents out a room to a young student in an attempt to keep her independence.