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Laurel Marian Doud book This Body : A Novel of Reincarnation
  • Categories:Female, Book
  • Title "This Body : A Novel of Reincarnation", (C) PB/Feb 2000, British, Adult Content, Body Swap, Magic, Drama, Fantasy


Overblown pedantry of the second rank. Could have been better if told in a straight forward narrative. There are interesting descriptions of "body discovery", i.e., of Katherine exploring her new body (including sexual encounters). Okay if you can get past the pretension. Recommended for the descriptions only.

From Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 1998.

A debut novel by a California librarian takes off from the spritely theme of postmortal switched identity, played under the comic mantle of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Katharine Ashley, wife and mother of two teenagers, dies and awakens but a year later to find herself housed in the dead body of Thisby Flute Bennet, a Los Angeles druggie 15 years his junior. With her face laid flat against an unfamiliar bathroom floor, she surges into the addict's wracked, wraith-like body.

Days pass; the fires of addiction flame and lower. She fitfully cleans her filthy apartment and gathers the dregs of Thisby's life together. Meanwhile, a phone call to her former home reveals that her husband has remarried and her old family gained a fresh semblance of emotional balance, although her son blames himself for the stress that killed her.

And so, very gradually, Katherine/Thisby comes to terms with her novel incarnation as a recovering addict (and a budding photographer), as well as with her well-to-do parents has once performed together in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the play's spirit hangs densely over each family member - even over their dogs, Snout and Oberon.

But living as Thisby is really not easy. Her new family distrusts her; she attracted to her handsome new father; her brother lusts for her, and at length springs into action. When Thisby's bad-news old boyfriend turns up, she gets pregnant - but is it by her brother or her boyfriend?

Then her own erstwhile teenage children show up with their problems - plus she's become an alcoholic. As Katherine painfully learns, not even indisputable proof of an afterlife can lift her out of the mire of human problems.

A well-told and soulful effort.

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originally posted by Rose on 2001-07-22, no edits, entryid=4814