Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: The Trouble with Dying

By Jami Deise

Everyone knows the drill by now – you leave your body. Float up to the ceiling. Watch as doctors or others try heroically to bring you back. You drift upwards, and are greeted by long-dead loved ones. They bring you to the light, right up to the time those doctors’ efforts finally pay off and you’re shoved back into your body, ready to live another day. It’s a quick, if not painless, process.

Except for Faith Carson, who’s decided to bypass the dying part and remain on the hospital ceiling while only comatose. Even worse, Faith has lost her memory, so not only can she not remember how she got to this state, she’s also clueless about her daughter Tess, husband Geoff, best friend Cynthia, and childhood friend Nate. In fact, she first thinks Nate must be her husband, and she’s disappointed to learn the truth. Geoff seems to care more about his job than his comatose wife – and maybe Cynthia. In fact, Geoff tells the doctor he has seven days to bring Faith out of it, or he’s pulling the plug. Luckily, Faith has the ghost of her long-dead grandmother to help guide her back to life – as long as Gran doesn’t break too many Death Rules. And can it possibly be true that Faith tried to kill herself?

Author Maggie Le Page offers an intriguing concept, and for the most part she develops it well. The pace is a little slow in the beginning, but by the end things move rapidly and the book becomes fully engrossing. Le Page has written her protagonist into a corner, both literally and figuratively. Comatose and amnesia-stricken, the aptly-named Faith can do little but float and wonder. Although eventually a few memories break through, she’s forced to rely on overheard conversations to try to determine friend from foe. She doesn’t trust her own judgments, even when it comes to her own actions.

The biggest surprise is that the book isn’t a comedy. Its opening chapter reads funny, and the narrative voice is wry. But Faith is trapped, with that ticking time bomb of seven days hanging over her head. This is not a funny book.

The highlight of the book is Faith’s daughter Tess, a six-year-old burgeoning psychic who can see her mother on the ceiling and communicate with her. When the truth about Tess is revealed, though, Faith is the only one who is surprised – the reader isn’t.

The Trouble with Dying probably has more in common with movies like DOA than the standard comedic chick lit novel, but it’s well-written and sticks closely to its plot. Unfortunately, there are so few characters, it’s relatively easy to sort the good from the bad. But Faith is worth rooting for, even though some questions about her own actions are never answered.

Thanks to Maggie for the book in exchange for an honest review. She is offering this book, as well as her debut novel, A Heat of the Moment Thing, to two lucky readers worldwide. (One e-book per winner.)

More about A Heat of the Moment Thing:

Becky Jordan has had it with relationships. From now on her time and dedication won’t be lavished on her latest Mr. Wrong—or, worse, Mr. Hell-No!—just the dream travel job which has unexpectedly leapt into her lap. Finally, life is looking great.

Unfortunately, not as great as her sizzling-hot, take-charge new boss. Matt Frobisher is everything she doesn't want him to be, but if anyone thinks she'll risk her career on a workplace fling they can think again. No amount of Superman behaviour from him will make her roll over and play Lois.

At least, that's what her head says. Her heart, however, doesn't do logical. In desperation she finds herself a Mr. Distraction, one with no strings and plenty of appeal. But Mr. Distraction also comes with unforeseen complications. Kryptonite complications, like Becky’s sister. And when she shows up there’s only one sure thing: not even Superman can prevent the Disaster Fest that’s about to blow Becky’s life apart.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Worldwide. Giveaway ends February 22nd at midnight EST.

40 comments:

Janine said...

Sometimes, I wish I had a psychic connection with my husband. Most of the time, I just wonder what the heck is going on in that head of his.

Bonnie Franks said...

I do have somewhat of a psychic connection with several of my family members. My daughter has given birth to 8 children......6 of those times, I am the one who let her know she was pregnant because I had morning sickness. So sometimes it's not all it's cracked up to be, know what I'm saying?????

susieqlaw said...

My grandpa. I miss him. He always gave me great advice.

Linda Kish said...

It would definitely be my sister. She was killed in a small plane crash in Kenya in 1980 at 32. I still miss her. We could have had such a wonderful life raising our kids together if she was still alive. I have so much to tell her.

Nova said...

it would be my Mom. she passed 16 years ago and i miss her alot.

Jessica Meddick said...

It would definitely be my dog, Haley.

Crystal Young said...

I would say Derek he was a family friend who committed suicide in 1989. I would want to know he that he is OK. I miss him a lot.

jodi marinich said...

i would want a physic connection to my dad he passed a year ago and would like to talk to him again

Melanie Backus said...

My connection would be with my aunt and a dear family friend.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Kim Pinch said...

I would love to have a psychic connection with my Granny. She was a very wise woman and I would to have her guidance n.

Maggie Le Page said...

Sorry I'm late, everyone - living in New Zealand + kiddie doctor visits are to blame. :( Looks like I'm in good company here re the psychic stuff. It's long been a fascination of mine and I'd love to be able to reconnect with my witty, oh-so-canny grandma.

Actually, I've been told my grandad is at my shoulder helping me write. I just wish he'd help me write faster - eg do it for me while I sleep!

Bronwen Evans said...

I loved the book. I'd like to have a psychic connection with my friend Jock. I miss him.

Kris Pearson said...

Loved both of Maggie's books. Who would I like to connect with? My father-in-law, who died late last year. It would be good to tell him his wife is missing him but keeping well, that his funeral brought two brothers closer together, and that we've fixed the drainage problem - a bigger deal than you can possibly imagine, and preying terribly on his mind!

Gracie O'Neil said...

I'd rather not have a psychic connection with just one person--living or dead. I'd rather have the psychic ability to sense a deeper layer of what is happening around me in the physical world so I can help others who are struggling to make their lives mean something.

But I **LOVED** THE TROUBLE WITH DYING! �� And I adored Tess.

Melissa Seng said...

Psychic connection - Jeff, of course.
Most distracted by a new conquest...he calls and texts after 11 pm all the time, then never responds to texts, and his only reason is that he has a penis.

Geralyn Corcillo said...

Wow - two very lucky potential winners out there. Both of Maggie LePage's books rock - differently but each with an unforgettable beat :)

Glenda Hefty said...

Ha...you do have to wonder sometimes just exactly what the males are thinking in view of their actions at times. No physic connections here and I don't think I'd want there to be. Greatest distraction would be my books...I tend to forget all else when in the thrall of a good book.

bn100 said...

books can be distracting

Maggie Le Page said...

Kris, I'm thrilled you've read and enjoyed both of my books :) I don't think I want any further info on said 'drainage' problem (!) - but I'm sure your FIL is watching on from somewhere above and smiling.

Maggie Le Page said...

Bronwen and Gracie, I'm so glad you loved The Trouble With Dying. Gracie, your comment is very deep! It's really got me thinking. (Ack! And I need to get some sleep tonight before my FB release party!) ;)

Maggie Le Page said...

Janine, LOLOL. I think women the world over wonder what goes on in men's heads!

Maggie Le Page said...

Bonnie, that's spookily accurate of you - but I can't say I envy you on the morning sickness. Why couldn't some angel just tap you on the shoulder and say "Yep, she's pregnant"? Your sister isn't your twin, by chance?

Maggie Le Page said...

Susieqlaw, Linda, Nova, Crystal, Jodi, Melanie, and Kim - big cyber hugs to all of you. It's so hard. The space people leave in our lives when they pass away never quite gets filled, does it?

Maggie Le Page said...

Jessica, I'm so glad you mentioned your dog. I think our fur babies are every bit as important as the people we love. I'm sure Haley's watching you and sending you cyber barks and tail-wags. :)

Maggie Le Page said...

Melissa - LOL - sigh. What can I say? (shakes head in despair) (grins)

Maggie Le Page said...

Glenda and bn100 - you're so right! Books are incredibly distracting. If I'm reading a good book all bets are off as to whether the kids will get any attention from me! I get too engrossed in books...

Vivian Vereeke said...

I would like to have a psychic connection with my dad who died from a workplace accident 16 years ago next week.

Maggie Le Page said...

Vivian, you must feel so robbed not having him here. Cyber hugs x

fani filippou said...

My biggest distraction: books of course!!

Foteini Emmanouilidou said...

My biggest distraction: Movies, books, music, painting!

Maggie Le Page said...

Fani and Fouteini - looks like books get a big "LET ME BE DISTRACTED" yell from a lot of us! Painting? Fouteini, I don't know how you juggle that and books. You must be very organised!

Mary Preston said...

I am very easily distracted. Oh look, shiny!!!

Maggie Le Page said...

Mary, LOL! Being distracted isn't always bad... Can I distract you with a new book boyfriend? ;)

L Lavender said...

I would love to have a psychic connection with my husband, then we can chat even more :).

Rachel Gilbey said...

I get easily distracted, especially by technology - so emails, my kindle etc, my ipad!

robertsonreads said...

If I could have a psychic connection I would like it to be my dad who passed 10 years ago. Or, my grandchild, Mckynley Claire who was stillborn in 2013, just 3 weeks before she was due.

Thank you for your time and generosity.
Ginger Robertson aka robertsonreads

Maggie Le Page said...

L Lavender, your husband must be sososo adorable for you to want that psychic connection as well as the FTF one! You're a lucky woman. :)

Maggie Le Page said...

Rachel, I hear you, girl! (sighs) I am always telling my kids time is up on their devices and then what do I do? (shakes head in despair) Ahem. Need to step away from the keyboard!

Maggie Le Page said...

Ginger, hi! You were at our Chick Lit Release Party on FB, weren't you? Lovely to see you here! :)

That must've been so hard for your family, losing a wee baby so close to full term. {{Hugs}} I'm sure she's being well looked after by your dad.

Maggie Le Page said...

Thanks so much to everyone who's participated in this giveaway. :) Huge thanks also to Chick Lit Central for inviting me to hang out here for a while. And CONGRATULATIONS to the winners! I've emailed out your ebook prizes.