Somebody tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead by Christiana Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have to say, I felt a bit misled by the cover of this book, which suggests a light, humorous read.
Well it isn’t. Not in my opinion. That’s not to say it wasn’t a fine read, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.
Mara is having the month from hell. She’s lost her job, is being evicted from her apartment because she’s practicing witchcraft, and her tarot cards give her nothing but death, sorrow and destruction. She even dreams the ghastly death of a woman who turns out to be her Aunt Tillie. Mara’s pretty sure she’s responsible for the fatal accident that kills Tillie, and Tillie’s inclined to agree.
When all Mara’s problems seem to be answered by her unexpected inheritance, she discovers that running in the opposite direction might actually have been the smarter idea.
Yes, this is lightweight chick-lit, but for me, too grim for most of the book to be funny. The outstanding character is Mara’s best friend, Gus, who reminds me strongly of Lafayette from True Blood, although this gay witch is in perfect control of his powers, and revels in them. He is outrageous, has the best lines, and is a staunch friend to the damsel in distress.
The character I felt was least used, leaving me somewhat disappointed, was Grundleshanks, the toad. I kept expecting him to DO something, other than excrete hallucinogenic slime onto his skin. Ah well…
So in summary, this is a well written book, with great dialogue. The plot is a little slow to get going, although the interaction between the lead characters carries you along. I was just expecting more humour than I got, based on the cartoonish cover.
Perhaps my British sense of humour is letting me down. If you like a light paranormal read, you might find it funnier than me.
I enjoyed it enough that I will read the next one, so recommended if comic(?) horror is your type of genre.
Do you ever find that a cover leads you up the garden path? One of the most important things I’ve learned in this publishing game is to always design a cover that loudly proclaims the genre of your book.
I feel a post about covers coming on…
I totally agree about covers–but for an indie they are one of the hardest things to get right! And in forums, everyone has a different opinion, so many indies find themselves even more confused.
Either way, this sounds like an intriguing book!
It is tricky, isn’t it? In fact, when I’ve been to talks by traditional publishers about their book covers, I mostly disagree with their choice of artwork!
Although I don’t always agree with his comments, I’ve found the monthly cover awards by Joel Friedlander to be very illuminating: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/08/monthly-e-book-cover-design-awards/
Yes, we do like Mr. JF Bookman. 🙂 Although it’s sometimes hard for an author to emit the true concept of a book in the cover, one can hope that the blurb may at least get the drift of the book across. 🙂
That’s true, I just feel it’s important to get the right first impression across with the cover, at least of genre. There was humour in this book, no question about it, but that sort of cover (to my mind) belongs to the really light humour I expect in a more whimsical and comedic book.
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I agree. The cover looks fun and whimsical. 🙂
Of course, everyone’s taste in humour is different. Tricky…
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