Limbo by Laura Koerber

Summary:

Alyse died and she isn’t happy about it. She finds herself stuck in a ghost town occupied by dead souls with whom she has nothing in common. Her reaction to her sense of loneliness and isolation is to throw a neighborhood block party for her little outpost in the afterlife. In the course of her party-planning, Alyse experiences a series of revelations about herself and other people—lessons she had failed to learn while alive—which leave her happier and wiser at the end of the story.

Overall

The unique characters are the strength of this story. Alyse appears to be the primary character but many other supporting characters (Lily, Trey, etc. – even a dog named Dean). Each character is very unique and has a story of their death worthy of attention. That is where it starts to break down for me.

Like the limbo they are stuck in – the plot takes a while to form and isn’t concrete. Instead it relies on the reader to draw their own conclusions. At least in part. After introducing so many characters, it feels incomplete to only resolve a part of the established character plots. If this was part of a series (addressing other characters trapped in limbo) I’d feel differently but this appears to be the only one, so the ending (or non-ending) left this book feeling incomplete. Which if was part of a series would be a good thing – because I was curious to read more.

A major draw back is the constant head hoping. Although it appears the story is meant to primarily follow Alyse, we get glimpses at other ghosts trapped in limbo and then we get Point of View (POV) switches that zigzag back and forth. These POV swaps confuse the narrative.

The major plus for me was the overarching theme. I liked its overall tone that we live in the worlds we make for ourselves. We can accept what we are handed or we can change it. A powerful message and a redeeming aspect because it makes one think!

Rating

3 stars

Thought provoking although slow novella with unique characters. Take a trip to limbo and see the world Alyse decides to build for herself.

Where did I get it?

The author provided a copy to me. This is a voluntary review.

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I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue by Laura Koerber

Summary

On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

Overall

This is a harrowing tale of tragedy that could have been avoided. It educates the reader in addition to telling a story. If you love animals this will hit home – if you are human, this will be eye opening and heartbreaking. The narration was interesting and easy to follow. There were sections of supposition that felt unnecessary and undercut the strength of the story. It was smart to focus on one dog over others, it added an extra layer. Adding to the fact that the author was a small part of the protest and followed the story, that you could feel the passion.

This isn’t just a story about the pets though, it is also about the people. The fact that a few people who were seriously concerned got together and eventually made a difference. I don’t want to ruin the story but some do see a happy ending – which brings an overall positive dynamic to the story. Well worth the read!

Rating

4 Stars

If you like non-fiction books, especially about pets, this is a great read!

Where did I get it?

The author gifted me a kindle copy.