Taken from a third person perspective, Fred's Funeral is a ghost story of sorts. Fred Sadler has passed on from this life and has not yet moved on to what happens after. Granted, he didn't believe there was anything after life to begin with, but comes to realize that there is more. Now tethered to his horrible sister-in-law, Viola, and her son/his nephew, John, Fred must venture through the after effects of his death and what his life meant to himself and others.
Fred has the unfortunate experience of having to witness the process that comes after one's death, which includes hearing what people thought about you and what little they really know. After all the funeral formalities were finished, Fred's family, whom he did not really know in life, gathered around to ask Viola questions about Fred. Each question posed brought a story from the present, with some of Viola's twisted answers (she was not a fan of Fred), to the past, in Fred's viewpoint of his memories.
I could envision this novel as a movie quite easily, as it is a light drama, a slice of life. It shows what influenced a man to live how he did and the consequences of his actions. As one who has grown up learning about psychology, it was disheartening to read what so obviously was a form of PTSD was misconstrued as something else, something worse, and in the end, seemed like it became something worse. Fred had a hard life, one in which he tried so hard to be what his family wanted him to be. Unfortunately, life does not always work out in our favor. Fred was able to fulfill one thing after his death that he could not in life. After being tossed to the side for so long, he was finally able to hear that his family would not throw him away and that he would be remembered from his letters and memories.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I will be honest, it made me a bit sad after reading the last page. Fred's Funeral is inspired by letters written by the author's Great Uncle Fred. While I am typically hesitant to read books about even the topic of death, this book, did not bring the heaviness that comes with death. Instead, it makes you think: How do you affect the others around you? What would you do to move on? Would you listen to what people thought of you at your own funeral? Would you try and accomplish one final task before moving on?
About the Author (from her website)
Sandy Day is a recovering chatterbox living in Georgina, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from York University, with a degree in English Literature sometime in the last century. Sandy then took 20 years off from writing to run a gift store and raise a family. Now relationship-free and un-self-employed she finally has time to write and publish.
Sandy is a trained volunteer facilitator for the Toronto Writers Collective’s creative writing workshops. She is a developmental editor and writing teacher who sells dog halters on the side. Tech savvy, a born marketer, entrepreneurial, and a big picture thinker, Sandy is a dedicated indie author, publisher, and book coach.
Fred's Funeral is available for sale on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Indigo, and Barnes & Noble.