Shaking Out the Dead by K.M. Cholewa

Shaking Out the Dead | Sidewalk Shoes Book Review

Shaking out the Dead is going to go on my best books read of 2014 list! This was so good, that when I finished it, I sat there for awhile.  Not wanting to leave the lives of all the characters I had grown to love and care about.

The book is interesting in that in each section or chapter, we are privy to the thoughts of a particular character.  So, the story is not told from one point of view, but from several points of view.  This is what made the book so wonderful for me.  The author gets deep in the psyche of each character.  We know their thoughts, feelings, doubts, desires…everything.

The story begins with the death of Tatum’s sister, Margaret.  Margaret’s husband needs to get away and leaves his young daughter Rachael with Tatum.  The characters surrounding Rachael and Tatum come from the apartment building where Tatum lives.  Geneva, the older woman across the hall, whose husband is in a nursing facility because of Alzheimer’s, which causes him to not even know her.  Paris, the would be artist, who works at a bar, where every night he provides warm soup to the prostitutes that stop in near closing time.  There are even more characters and with the author’s approach of letting you get inside almost every single character, they become much more than secondary characters.

The writing is wonderful.  Deep and thoughtful.  One of those books where you have to stop yourself from highlighting and marking almost every passage.

“In the hours before light, the street’s subtle decay was not erosion, but the peeling back of veneer to reveal a spirit.”

“Pointless conversations serving no purpose but to hear the sound of another’s voice meeting with one’s own, spinning, what nonsense one could from found threads of thought.”

“Would it also be that you learned love hurts, will something not feel like love unless it hurts?”

I loved everything about this book and look forward to more books from this author!

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.

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  1. says

    Uh. Never even heard of this book, but it sounds like one I’d enjoy. I love the passages you quoted. Adding it to my list!