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Sunday, 14 March 2010
My So-Called Afterlife
by Tamsyn Murray
Lucy Shaw has been haunting the gents’ loos in Carnaby Street since being stabbed to death the previous New Year’s Eve. It isn’t fun being stuck in a small underground building that stinks of wee, especially as your only visitors tend to be those of a slightly suspicious or less than hygienic variety and you’re invisible to them all. That is until Jeremy goes to the gents’ and is scared witless when he discovers that not only is there a teenage girl inside, but that she is a ghost.
Despite his dreadful taste in clothes and hopeless sense of humour, Jeremy is Lucy’s only connection with the outside world and she goes along with him when he finds a way to help her escape the confines of the loos for short, then longer periods of time. Jeremy persuades Lucy to go with him to the Church of the Dearly Departed. Here she meets other ghosts. Hep, a poltergeist with an increasing rage against her parents and everyone else, becomes a good friend. A beauty queen takes an instant dislike to Lucy; and Ryan is so handsome and kind, that she is positive he must be her soul mate.
Jeremy is determined to trace Lucy’s murderer and despite not feeling ready to confront her memories of what happened the dreadful night of her murder, she realizes that this madman is more than likely going to do the same thing to another unsuspecting victim. Unable to refuse, Lucy goes along with Jeremy to help him in anyway she can.
This is a Young Adult novel, but having read it in one sitting, I’m sure that whether younger or older, any adult couldn’t help but enjoy this book. The interaction between Lucy and Jeremy is excellent and amusing, and as well as the funny parts of the book and her growing romance with Ryan, there’s the underlying sadness that these characters are ghosts with pain and anguish in their pasts and a need to resolve their own issues before being able to move on.
I thought this book was cleverly written, and as well as entertaining me, it also made me cry, twice. Now I can understand why, when my daughter opened My So-Called Afterlife to have a quick peek inside, she then took it to her room, refusing to give it back until she’d finished it.
I loved it and can’t recommend it enough.
Reviewed by Debs Carr