The Other Side of Air

Jeanne Braselton, Author, Kaye Gibbons, Foreword by , afterword by Kaye Gibbons. Ballantine $12.95 (185p) ISBN 978-0-345-44310-6

A deceased Georgia librarian reaches out from beyond the grave to dote on her husband of 60 years in Braselton's posthumous second novel (after A False Sense of Well Being ). Katy and Ephraim Doyal loved each other to the exclusion of everyone, including their son, Wyatt, whose resentment of his third-wheel status threatens his own marriage. When Katy is diagnosed with congestive heart failure, she worries Ephraim will sink into a depression after she is gone and die of loneliness. To this end, she arranges for Rose Callahan, a loud and brassy workhorse who, like Ephraim, was traumatized by a childhood of grinding poverty, to step in once Katy has passed to "the other side of air." Narrating the novel from the afterlife à la The Lovely Bones , Katy also communicates with her son and husband, attempting to foster a reconciliation between the two. Although the plot is slight and the Southern patois is cumbersome, the novel abounds in wise truths about the indignities of aging and dying, the fragility of life and happiness and the durability of love. The author's 2003 death—her friend, the novelist Kaye Gibbons, completed the novel and contributed an afterword—adds a poignant prescience. (Aug. 29)

Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Hardcover - 185 pages - 978-0-345-44309-0
Open Ebook - 100 pages - 978-0-307-48920-3
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-375-43425-9
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