- 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