|Now||2023||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Black Authors||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (2005) follows Liz Hall's afterlife as she come to terms with being an almost sixteen year old Benjamin Button. Elsewhere is the name for the afterlife where people live lives aging backwards until they become babies and are shipped off to new lives on Earth.
Before reaching Elsewhere the first part of the book is set on a massive cruise ship. Liz is paired with a Black girl who remembers being shot in the head but is otherwise healthy and in good spirits. Here were there is still a mystery is the best part of the novel.
Once the ship lands and Liz is picked up by her grandmother (and namesake) the novel settles into a predictable schmaltz-fest. Despite her understandable grief at being dispatched at a young age and being forced into a second childhood before she's even reached adulthood, we the reader are supposed to accept Grandma Betty's rose-tinted view of death. We're supposed to see Elsewhere as some utopia with a guaranteed HEA (reincarnation).
Nope. I read two chapters into the Elsewhere section. Then I read two more at the end to verify that things would in fact take the predictable path. It does.