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Posted August 29, 2007
Fresh, Beautiful, Thoughtful, a Book to Keep and Read Until it Falls Apart
I saw this book at my local Barnes and Noble store as one of the new authors, and I read about the author in Poets and Writers magazine. After reading the historical note in the beginning, I was hooked. Once I began reading, I could not put the book down. Ms. O'Donnell explores the world of professional mourners through her protagonist, Mem, and other characters. Readers can follow Mem from her early training to be a professional mourner through her rise to stardom. I laughed and cried and wanted to hold the little child. More than the story of Mem, though, was Ms. O'Donnell's ability to make me think of relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, and family. I also found myself contemplating death and what it means to different people. To the professional mourners, funerals were work, a means to make money, but for the 'unprofessionals,' funerals meant something entirely different. She explores the words used for dead people, from the words spoken at a funeral to those used by children, which seemed to be preferred to Mem. In between the chapters, which are titled with questions, Ms. O'Donnell has included poetry, prose, and documents which help readers to understand. Ms. O'Donnell's background in poetry is evident, too, in her use of imagery throughout the book. In addition to the beautiful imagery, and the interesting way I will now look at everyday items, like oscillating fans, there was a rhythm to her writing which guides the reader throughout the book. I will keep this book on one of my many bookshelves, and I will read it again and again, and I imagine that I will need a new copy down the road. I plan to donate a copy to my library, and I will purchase copies for my friends. This is a debut novel by a gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more by her. Open Me is original, fresh, eloquent, and filled with interesting characters.
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Posted April 19, 2008
I am so proud of Sunshine
I knew Sunshine personally, and I am so proud to say that I read this book a long time ago when she first wrote it. I could not put it down. The story was moving and the author is wonderfully creative. I cannot wait to purchase the published copy. It brings joy to my heart knowing that Sunshine is still writing. She was born to write. I am certain that Sunshine will continue to bring mystery and joy to everyone who reads her works. I had the pleasure to call her my sister onceWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2007
Unlike anything I've ever read before.
This debut novel is fantastic and has elements of a great first novel: Original plot and great characters. This book is utterly and refreshingly original and causes the reader to ponder what death - and life - really mean. The book is written beautifully with poetic imagry. The book is written so well, that I felt for the main character, Mem, and wanted to comfort her and get her out of this world. I cannot wait to see what Ms. O'Donnell comes up with next!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.