In the First Early Days of My Death

In the First Early Days of My Death

by Catherine Hunter

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In the First Early Days of My Death by Catherine Hunter

When young, unlucky Wendy Li finds herself floating above the trees and buildings of her home town Winnipeg, she immediately suspects she's been murdered by her husband's jealous ex-lover, Evelyn. But no one is aware of Wendy's spirit drifting over the city, longing to settle the unfinished business of her life. The citizens of Winnipeg are embroiled in controversy over the construction of a new casino. Wendy's psychic mother-in-law can't see a thing; her superstitious sister-in-law is afraid of ghosts; and her beloved husband is too stupid to realize what's going on...or is he? Meanwhile, the detective down the street seems more intent on regaining his own wife's attention than on seeking justice.

As Wendy watches from above, she begins to fear that Evelyn will get away with murder, and that no one will remember to water the garden.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781897109861
Publisher: Signature Editions
Publication date: 04/17/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 112
File size: 214 KB

About the Author

In addition to In the First Early Days of My Death, Catherine Hunter has published three other thrillers, Where Shadows Burn, The Dead of Midnight, and Queen of Diamonds, as well as one spoken word CD, Rush Hour, and three collections of poetry, Necessary Crimes, Lunar Wake, and Latent Heat, for which she received the Manitoba Book of the Year award. Hunter teaches English at the University of Winnipeg.

Read an Excerpt

In the first early days of my death, I could easily rise above the earth, past the massive, crenulated tops of the elm trees, over the scent of honeysuckle, into the summer sky that was ­thick and soft as a dark bolt of cloth, stars pushing them­selves through like bright needles.

I could see the narrow, muddy Seine trickling north and the wide, muddy Assiniboine flowing east, both of them empty­ing into the Red River. I could see the whole length of the Red, its gleaming black surface with the wake of the moon upon it like a curved path I could trace to the horizon. I saw every house I'd ever lived in and the orange cross above the hospital where I'd been born and where I now lay. I peered into the windows of build­ings and learned to part the glass like cur­tains so that I could pass right through.

If I wanted to, I could reach anywhere, feel the whole world at once, full of water and white sand and polar ice, fish in the oceans, red peppers and basil and lilies with their folded petals closed, unbearably lush and delicate and quiet in the dark­ness. I could hear everything, each exhala­tion of the humid air breathing through the branches far be­low, each muted puncture of the sky as another star poked through.

Some nights, if I let the wind blow through me, I could hear the dead begin to speak.

It's true.

Their voices, low and insistent, rustled past me like the wings of flying birds, and some­times they sang.

But I was not interested in them.


Maybe my life would have ended differently if I'd ac­cepted Mrs. Kowalski's invitation to join her at that pro­test rally at City Hall. Mrs. Kowalski was a determined woman, the most persuasive of my mothers, but I'd said no. I had to clean the house that day. I had to prune the oregano before it encroached any fur­ther on the lettuce patch. And I defi­nitely had to phone a locksmith. Besides, Mrs. Kowalski was always pro­test­ing some­thing. The year I was thirteen, it was pesti­cides. The year I was fourteen­, it was pornogra­phy. By the time I was fifteen, I'd gone to live on Langside Street with old Mrs. Lamb, who was far be­yond the mothering age and cer­tainly past pro­testing anything. But Mrs. Kowalski never gave up. That summer, she was against gamb­ling. Or at least gambling down­town.

The City of Winnipeg had changed a lot of bylaws so that All-Am Development could tear down four square blocks of Winnipeg's remaining core and erect a luxury casino complex, com­plete with gourmet restaur­ants, fountains, and skylights, and a glass tower with a green spire that would be the tallest structure ever built in the city. This plan angered a lot of people be­cause of the historic buildings that would be destroyed, including the Walker The­atre, where Nellie McClung had staged the fa­mous mock parlia­ment in 1914 which debated the issue of granting the vote to men. It enraged others simply because the mayor pushed through the by­laws with­out con­sulting the public. And it in­censed people like Mrs. Kowalski, who didn't believe in games of chance. She grounded me once for playing poker with the boy next door, although we were only playing for pennies. She was the strictest mother I ever had, and wouldn't listen to excuses. "Don't push your luck," she always said. Maybe she was right, con­sidering the way every­thing turned out.

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