The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood, narrated by,Tavia Gilbert
I wasn’t really sure what I felt about this book even up to the last hour or so but then all the stories clicked in and things happened that made me feel so much for these two women. When we meet Claire it is not in the best light so it was hard to truly care about her until later. Vivien however I liked her right away, even though she is still grieving her lost love of over a decade she has immersed herself in writing the most beautiful obituaries for other people. She still searches newspapers’ everyday searching for amnesiacs because if the love of life did not die in the 1906 earthquake then he must still be out there lost with no memory or he would have come home to her.
This book is a study in grief and human behavior. These two women who at first glance don’t seem to have anything in common however you won’t have to wait for the reveal to figure that connection out. The author did a lot of research into both time periods down to the wallpaper and clothing. Especially clothing in the 1960’s or should I say how everyone was talking about our new first lady’s clothing, in hindsight we all know what a fashionista Jackie was but it is interesting to see how fast people became obsessed with her clothing.
I wasn’t a big fan of Claire’s husband but I couldn’t help wondering if that was how he always was or is it just a reaction to events at the beginning of the book. Vivian even with her grief I believe had a fuller life and friends that were much more real.
There is some points in this book where I was a little bored wondering where the story was going, this is a character story there isn’t any action this is a straight character driven book. I did end up liking it and have thought about the characters since finishing. This was my first book by this author and I would listen to more by her.
Tavia Gilbert’s narration was great she made each of these women sound very different and you never had to guess whose narrative she was speaking in. She gave Vivien a strong firm voice that showed her strength but also at times showed the hurt and grief that lay under everything she does and says. Claire was a bit whiny at times but it fit the character well and the raw emotions towards the end of the book were so real and well narrated.
3 ½ Star book
5 Star narration
I received this audiobook from the Audiobookjukebox.com & the publisher Blackstone Audio for a fair and honest review.