Post May 11, 2011, 02:29:30 PM

Death with French Bread by Chris Sharp

----Caution! Spoilers----


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I don't ususally worry about spoilers, but this time, it could make a difference. I didn't expect the ending, though I did think it odd that two of the parents of these kids on their first (?) date wouldn't see them in the next room. They didn't seem to be hiding, at all.

The overall aura of old lovers reunited was palpable, in this story. Ronnie and Chase seemed to truly know each other for a very long time, it showed in their actions, their words and the general sense of familiarity in their interactions. Very well done. Their motivations for being there are easy to parse, and they have enough sense to be a little embarrassed by the whole thing. That's good characterization.

What I think was even better, however, was the interactions of the kids on their first date. Both were making silly mistakes and in general, the date wasn't going very well, at least from Rachelle's perspective. The shift of POV from third person to limited omniscient between the ghosts and the living (there's your spoiler) was a bit unsettling, but it worked. We needed to see Rachelle's innermost thoughts, fears and decision process in order to fully see the story that was developing. It's a risky thing to do, switching P'sOV within this kind of story, and though it was a little bouncy for the reader, it wasn't overdone. Too many switchbacks could have made this thing a lot harder to read.

Rachelle's take on the date was an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of the female mind. I've heard over-and-over how easy it is for them to overthink just about anything, and I've never seen a male writer do it this kind of justice. I don't know how accurate it actually is, but I felt I could follow it, and maybe even understand it, a little better.

There were nice (but intentionally misleading) touches to the plot that I didn't appreciate until the denouement. I mean. . .why not ghost restaurants, with ghost waiters and why can't they get tipsy from ghost wine?

Wonder how they pay. . .

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."