Klise, Kate. Grounded.
Feiwel&Friends/Macmillan Child Pub Gr 2010 196p 16.99
978-0-312-57039-2 elm/ms grieving-fiction VG-BN
Mother and daughter must learn to cope with loss, and that is the theme of the book! However, during their spiritual journey toward acceptance of death, they deal with unique jobs, family members and small-town turmoil.
Tragedy in the form of a plane crash robs Daralynn and her mother of family members, but it robs them of so much more as both try to come to terms with the death. There are a flim-flam man, a wacky sister-in-law, a Vietnam veteran brother and a senile grandmother as supporting cast. After the funeral, Mother takes on a job of doing hair of dead people at the local funeral parlor, but it does little to assuage her grief. Daralynn shows her creativity early on when she, herself, decides to cut hair and cuts all of the hair off a girl, thinking she╒s a boy! She covers up her error by calling this the new French look! When Daralynn comes up with the idea of having living funerals, both mother and daughter see it as a way to recover, but Aunt Josie╒s new beau steals their business by setting up a crematorium nearby! Clem, as he calls himself, wins the affection of Aunt Josie, but not of Mother. In the end, it turns out that Daralynn solves the mystery of the toupee she found while fishing. However, the toupee is just one small body part of what she discovers hidden in the lake. Clem has been claiming to cremate dead people; instead he hid them in the lake in an attempt to swindle the townspeople. Although the reader learns to distrust Clem early on, the falling action is so comedic, fast-paced and fun that he/she forgets that the book centers on death and coping. Kate Klise is known for originality, and interesting, quirky characters, especially in her book, Dying to Meet You, and although the idea of a living funeral is not new, she has put a certain country charm and a bit of a twist to the plot to keep the reader engaged. All books about life & death should be this well-written! Error on p. 11. Cut ╥r╙ from the word ╥her╙ to read, ╥like he╒d said after he gave me, etc."
Realistic Fiction. Squaresky, Martha