Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove - DNF

Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove
Copyright 2009
David C. Cook - Fiction/Christian

Bad timing. Bad, horrible timing. I thought I would enjoy this book because it's got a paranormal aspect and I probably will enjoy it, at another point in time. The protagonist of Talking to the Dead, Kate, has just lost her husband as the book opens. She's gone outside to get away from the crowd of people who are in her home. The funeral has just ended. I assume the people in her house are the relatives and friends who are closest to her. Her mother is guarding the door. Kate is grieving deeply; eventually, the ghost of her husband will start speaking to her.

I haven't lost a husband, but anyone who has lost someone close knows the kind of pain the fictional Kate is experiencing as the book opens. May and June are absolutely horrid because I've lost both of my parents and every year people who have lost parents have to deal with the advertising blitz for Mother's Day and Father's Day. This year marked my second Mother's Day without a mother; the 19th year since my Father's death. I usually do a good job of ignoring "death anniversaries" but I don't cope with the annual Mom/Dad holiday onslaught particularly well. Because Kate's grief is palpable and I am sensitive, I chose to close the book.

There is nothing wrong with the writing and I still am intrigued by the plot. I just didn't think I can handle walking through Kate's grief with her, at this moment. I recommend reading the sneak peek chapter in the post below, if you're interested.


  1. I totally understand. You will probably find your way back to it one day.

  2. Kathy,

    I have a feeling I will. I'm still intrigued by the paranormal aspect. It's just not the best time for this book, so I'm going to hang onto it.

  3. You've made a wise decision. I doubt any author would want you to read something that is going to made you uncomfortable or upset. You'll get back to it in the future, at a time when it's better for you.

  4. Michelle,

    Thanks for saying that. :) I'll eventually read this one, but will wait until the time is right. You're so right; it's probably better for the author because a book that upsets the reader is not going to get a glowing review, is it? LOL

  5. There really is such a thing as timing when it comes to books isn't there? I think you did the right thing by setting it aside for the moment. The story sounds interesting and you'll probably find your way back to it when you are ready.

  6. Iliana,

    Absolutely. I've set aside books that were wrong for the moment and returned to them later, many times. I still love the sound of the story. Maybe during the fall, when it's cool and I'm feeling upbeat would be a good time. I'm always happy when it gets cool outside!!

  7. Michelle, You hit the nail on the head when you said "I doubt any author would want you to read something that is going to made you uncomfortable or upset." Well said, it speaks my heart exactly.

    Bookfool: I wish you peace, and pray God be with you as you walk through your journey of the "new normal". All the best,
    Bonnie Grove

  8. Like Paranormal, huh? And I know you love memoirs. Try out Walking Through Walls by Phillip Smith (could be making up the author's name). It isn't THE best book ever, but it is really fascinating!

  9. Bonnie,

    Thank you. I'm glad you're not upset that I couldn't get through the book.

    "New normal" is a good way to describe it. To me, the worst thing about having no parents or grandparents is that I no longer have anyone to ask questions about experiences I remember from childhood or about family history. Sucky.

    Best of luck with your book! :)


    I've actually read Walking Through Walls. I kind of hated it. LOL But, yes, I do like reading stories with a paranormal aspect. I've finally gotten a copy of The House on Tradd Street, so next time I'm in a mood for ghosties, I'll reach for that one. :)

  10. I still have my mom; I'm lucky. And Jandar and I don't celebrate either Mom's or Dad's Day simply because we expect total adoration every day of the year from the boys wonder. :) I choose to celebrate my dad's b-day every year instead and also his spirit at Hallowe'en. I find I'm much happier that way. And, as I eat a double-egger on white toast to celebrate him, how can I be sad?

    I draw the line at pouring out a 40 for him as that's just gauche.

  11. It really is all about timing, isn't it? As you know, May pretty much sucks all the way around for me. Mother's Day, memories of a college graduation, anniversary of death, only to be followed by Father's Day. Yep, May & June are probably harder for us than the holiday season.

    Maybe this will find it's way back to you. Or not. Trust your gut. Or your heart.

    Rod and I have both used the term "new normal" so many times. Nothing is ever normal after a tragic loss, but you do learn to live with the new normal, don't ya?

    Having said all this, I wonder if I'd like this book? I can deal with books depicting the death of a husband. It's the ones with the loss of a child that hit me hardest. I'll give the sneak peak chapter a read when I'm not so sleepy.

  12. Lisa,

    I suppose I should be happy that I had my mother for nearly 18 years after I lost my dad. She found out she had cancer just two months after his death, so we were lucky she stayed alive for so long.

    Pouring out a 40?


    Yes, timing is obviously important. I always think, "Oh, I'll be fine," but around Mother's Day and Father's Day, it's like you're getting a repeated slap in the face, every time you pick up a newspaper or walk into a store or turn on the radio.

    I'm slowly learning to trust myself about what I can and cannot handle. It takes a little testing.

    I've never heard the term "new normal" but I like it. That's a nice way to look at change.

    I don't know if you'd like the book or not, but it sure sounded interesting to me. I'll tell you more about it in a couple of days, when I write to you. Be patient with me. I've been very, very tired and I've got a lot to do, this weekend. Hopefully, next week will be a little more normal. We've got to entertain kiddo while he's off work for a few days. :)

  13. Anonymous5:54 AM

    I have quite a few books in the category 'this will be a great book once I'm in the right season/mindset/mood, etc' It happens.

  14. Maybe it's a city thing (I'm originally from Philly--don't judge!) and I know it's a rap thing, but when a friend died you poured out a 40oz bottle of beer (I'm guessing on the grave) to honor him. I'd say it's a waste of beer but as the only stuff in a bottle that size seems to be Bud and Miller, I'm saying the grass isn't too upset. *hic*

    Have I become terribly offensive yet?

    Seriously, I hope things get easier re: your parents.

  15. I really enjoyed this one. I was surprised at how much. But, I can also completely understand setting this one aside. I can't handle books about a father dying. Even 7 years later, losing my father is still too tender of a subject for me.

  16. Anonymous8:04 PM

    Stupid Holidays; they put a lot of pressure on everyone, especially those with fairly raw grief. I say let's skip 'em all, and just appreciate each day for what it is. My arms around you, Bookfool, for being brave on a daily basis. Shall we make our own holiday eluding to that?

  17. Care,

    I'm feeling totally wrapped in a blanky of bloggy love, here. Thanks. :)


    Oh, interesting! I think I've seen that done in movies, but I don't listen to rap and I've never heard of it from acquaintances (just asked -- hubby says he's never heard of it, either).

    You're not offending me. I'm well aware I'm behind the times, socially speaking.

    Things do improve, but it never stops sucking, if you know what I mean. I do miss my parents. And, thank you. :)


    Five years still seems pretty fresh, to me. After 19 years, I haven't stopped missing my father (who was, quite honestly, the coolest dad on the planet) but I'm used to his absence, I guess you could say.

  18. Timing is everything. I can see how you would feel like you did (another time, another place perhaps). BTW i have added it to my list so thanks

  19. I hear ya. I just realized yesterday--when my mom called to tell me that my dad's twin brother died--that it's been 10 years since my dad's death. 10! I did better with Father's Day this year since I have Chuck, and since he's a father Rocketboy, his mom, and I went all out planning and scheming for him.

    The book does sound very good. I think I'm going to try to get my hands on it.

  20. Bellezza,

    I'm all for doing away with those stupid holidays completely, yep. They've simply become an excuse to badger people into buying more stuff for each other and you're so right that for those whose grief is raw it's like getting a bruise poked (and poked and poked). Thank you, sweetie. Maybe just a celebrate life day would be good or family day, so we can be with whoever is left, etc. Nice thinking!


    Yay! I hope you enjoy the book! I didn't want to turn anyone off because the writing is great. Yep, timing is definitely everything!


    Hard to believe how fast the time goes, isn't it? I'm sorry about your uncle. I do think it helps when you've got youngsters around and you can make a big deal out of Father's Day for them. It sounds like you had a good time!

    Second yippee! I think it's going to be a really good read when I get over myself. Hope you enjoy it!


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