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Paperback This Body: A Novel of Reincarnation Book

ISBN: 0316196614

ISBN13: 9780316196611

This Body: A Novel of Reincarnation

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

An unforgettable story of reincarnation and redemption in which a middle-aged woman relives her life in the body of a 22-year-old drug addict, this book signals an astonishing debut from an original... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

If you could be young again and know what you know now

I simultaneously wanted to savor this story and plow through the book. To me, it was that good. Can you really call this a story of reincarnation? The main character, Katherine Ashley, wakes up in a skinny, no, make that emaciated body of a rich girl from Beverly Hills. A drug addict and alcoholic. Katherine is a middle class Baby Boomer. Married young, two kids, housewife. Worries too much about her children. And dies fairly young (mid to late 40s?). She copes in her new life and body as she did in her old one. Trying to be in control of the situation as best as possible under the circumstances. I felt Katherine was both more vulnerable yet also in some ways tougher than she thought she was. And to me the story was around that aspect of her personality. That in her new surroundings (in every imaginable way) she got to finally explore what being alive is about and also about herself. I think women of all ages will really enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

Reincarnation with a twist.

That is the premise to this unique book that took me completely by surprise; it was a quick read and a brilliant story. A 39 year old woman, and mother of two, screams out "wait" as she is about to check out of the world as she knows it. When she opens her eyes it's a year later and she is in the body of a 22-year-old addict named Thisby, who has just overdosed. Katherine's journey begins as she tries to sort through her new life. She has a brother and sister who she has yet to meet, as well as a personality like a banshee with a nasty reputation to uphold, or so it is believed. Her new family is intellectual and named after literary figures. The author plays a game with Shakespearian quotes that is simply brilliant. As her life progresses in this body of Thisby's, she learns more about her real self and what she needs. There are parts of her own childhood that she still needs to face. It is an extraordinary coming of age story written from an entirely different perspective. Once I started it I couldn't put it down. Kelsana 11/14/01

What a clever book!

Every woman's fantasy fulfilled - die and come back richer and thinner and younger. Even with all her problems, Thisby is a person you can like. I look forward to more books by Ms. Doud.

An absorbing and well-told story.

I picked up This Body merely because it was by a local author and I was curious. Much to my surprise, it turned out to be one of the best books I've read in years. The characters are likeable, the story is involving, and the heroine is someone I would like to know. Dumped suddenly and unceremoniously into the middle of Thisby's life, Katharine is faced with difficult choices, heart-rending dilemmas, and fascinating opportunities. On the surface, this is the story of how she feels her way along a path beset with unpredictable pitfalls as she comes to an uneasy accomodation with her new family, her new identity, and the addiction she inherited along with her new body. And on that level alone, it is an inventive and entertaining read. But on a more fundamental level, This Body is the story of a woman who gets a unique and priceless opportunity to view herself quite literally through someone else's eyes. Katharine, who never got the chance to be a child, comes together with Thisby, who never got the chance to be an adult, and together they find a wholeness that neither was able to achieve alone. Along the way the book delivers tragedy, loss, hope, humor, warmth, scandal, insight, and the simple voyeuristic fun of getting a peek into someone else's life and family. This Body is a book that will keep you highly entertained while you read it, and will keep you thinking long after you've finished it.

This is a deftly written, witty debut novel!

When Katherine Ashley, a middle-aged mother, dies suddenly in her sleep, she does not expect to wake up the next morning in the body of a beautiful, twenty-two year old drug addict. However, she does, and this is the premise for Laurel Doud's exciting first novel. This San Jose librarian has undoubtedly written a book that will come as a nice surprise to the literary world. It has been years since I've seen a book with such an original premise as this book has. A story about a middle-aged mother dying and being reincarnated into the body of a beautiful twenty-two year old drug addict doesn1t sound boring by anyone's standards. And Laurel Doud takes this unique and interesting idea and writes it in a vivid and entrancing prose style. She does not rely on convention or tradition, but writes like one human talking to another; this book is completely devoid of pretentiousness. Instead, Laurel writes like a real human being telling a very real story that moves from light-hearted to dramatic instantly and smoothly, making a story that is full of emotion. This is not a book about reincarnation, it1s more a story of identity and isolation. It is not a cheesy horror novel about near-death experiences; it is about a woman's problem trying to live the life of a young woman's broken and chaotic life, while trying to deal with the chaos of her own soul. While reading this book I was amazed at the way in which Doud was able to write the main character, Katherine, as being so very alone. Her deft accuracy in writing about such solitude will surely intrigue existentialists everywhere, but also her ability to write such strength and vivid realism in her women will attract a large feminist following. But besides that, the average reader will enjoy this entrancing story of a single woman1s desperate quest to mend the broken life of a drug addict--without the help of anyone else--while also trying to come to terms with the harsh reality that her previous life has suddenly left her forever. It is a moving story, and Doud eases in and out of many prose styles effortlessly, while still retaining her own identity as an author. This is Doud's first novel, and I suggest anyone who enjoys reading should pick up this new book, not only because it is intelligently and skillfully written, but also because just about anyone will be moved and entertained by this wonderful book.
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