Monday, June 29, 2009

Things to Look for in Talking to the Dead

I'm gobsmacked by the notes and e-mails I've received from readers. It's been an honor to read your reactions to Talking to the Dead and to hear your stories about life, love, and even loss. I'm humbled. I truly enjoy hearing from readers, and be assured, I read and respond to every note - so if you feel so moved, by all means drop me a line (

I got a note from my editor the other day with the reaction of a friend of her who read Talking to the Dead. She says, in part:
"It really struck me as a layered book written for many levels of reading: entertaining, study in psychology, but for me it was mainly a book about idolatry and the consequences of it."
I love this! She's the first person (so far, that I have heard from) that picked up on this theme,which runs throughout the book and is evident in several of the character. Have you read the book? Did you pick up this theme? Or did something else stand out for you? A different theme? I'd love to hear.

For those of you who have read the book, or are planning on it, here are a few themes you can look for and explore in Talking to the Dead (this list doesn't appear in any other blog or interview I've done - it's just for you Fiction Matters readers!)

The Waiting Room - Kate spends a fair amount of time waiting in reception areas, lobbies, foyers, and waiting rooms. As you read, explore the meaning found in the the waiting room - what does it mean to Kate?

Obsession - the ultimate anti-love emotion is obsession. Who is obsessed in the book? What does his/her obsessions to do the character(s) and his/her relationships?

Idolatry - As mentioned above, idolatry is a theme found throughout the book and is displayed in several characters. How does this play out for the various characters?

Emotional vs. Rational responses - There is a tension in the book between the emotional and the rational. Neither one comes out a clear winner - but there is a discussion that can be found in the book about balancing the two in a third arena. What is the third arena of reason? How can bring balance to the other two?

These are a few of the themes explored in Talking to the Dead. There are others as well. I'd love to hear what you've pulled out of the text and how it unfolded for you. Let's dish!

I bid you good writing.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday!

L. Diane Wolfe

Janet said...

Oh man! This post should have come with a spoiler warning.

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

Idolatry was definately a strong theme. Oooh, I wish I was in a book club so I could discuss this with someone!!! :) I don't want to spoil it by leaving comments here for anyone who hasn't read it yet. But it was a good book, definately multi-layered. :)