- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted December 17, 2012
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers Favorite
Forty year old Keene Mason, who describes himself as a "boring engineer", has died. He wishes to have his casket filled with 2005 Saint Emilion wine which costs over $50 a bottle and he wants to lie in his casket, now wine-filled, for a week before he is cremated. He appears to be family-less and friendless so in his final will and testament, overseen by lawyer Justin Lawson, he writes countdown letters to his estranged wife, Carmina Jewell, to gather certain objects and place them in his coffin. If not all his money must be burned in a bonfire. On page 43 of "The Emancipating Death of a Boring Engineer", Keene writes that "If my life were a novel, there would be no market for it." On the same page, he describes himself as an "unattractive and boring engineer, living a cowardly and untroubled life, forever unloved, slowly dying like a long candle running out of wax.".Carmina, separated from Keene by frustration, is a director of placement for a group home for children with special needs. She reads Keene's complex letters to Sig, a suicidal child in that home, and they follow his directives that lead them far from home. But can Carmina follow through on all eight of these difficult letters?
Michel Bruneau has written a deep and often difficult-to-read but truly delightful story in "The Emancipating Death of a Boring Engineer". Keene's letters to Carmina are long and detailed, but the story's ending is a sweet and poignant testimonial to love. The characters of Carmina, Sig, Justin, and all of Keene's unknown friends and associates are essential to the story. The plot line runs smoothly, if sometimes very sadly, to the story's satisfying conclusion. "The Emancipating Death of a Boring Engineer" is a story well worth reading.