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Review: Expiration Date by Sherril Jaffe

[ 6 ] March 31, 2011 |

Reviewed by Nikki Flores

Imagine if you knew the exact date you were going to die. What would you do? Would you beg the “powers that be” for more time on earth? That’s exactly what Flora Rose did when she had a premonition that she was going to die in 25 years. Author Sherril Jaffe opens her book, Expiration Date, with Flora standing in the “prisoner’s box” in a heavenly courtroom, pleading along with her deceased parents and in-laws to extend her expiration date past her 60th birthday. Sadly, the judge (whom Flora never sees), does not budge on the decision.

Fast forward to Flora’s 59th year of life, and the novel takes an incredibly different tone. Jaffe jumps quickly between chapters, switching back and forth between the first-person perspectives of Flora and Muriel (Flora’s 86-year-old mother).

I loved the premise of the book–that Flora knew the exact date she was going to die and she wondered if she would be able to change her fate. However, the majority of the book did not stick to the fascinating aforementioned plot line. In actuality, it felt like the bulk of the book focused on Flora’s elderly mother, as she started coming into her own after her husband passed away. Interwoven between Muriel’s semi-interesting adventures (i.e. brushes with death, new boyfriends and bridge tournaments), the reader gets to see bits and pieces of the last few month’s of Flora’s life, which she basically spends worrying about her expiration date.

I expected great things from this novel, but overall, thought that it was sub-par and confusing. (I’m still not really sure what happened at the end of it). I finished Expiration Date wanting to know a lot more about Flora and a lot less about her mother.

Rating: 2.5/5

Nikki Flores (aka CluelessMe) is an avid writer and reader. She first hit the blogging scene with the Clueless Newlywed Blog, which catalogued the unique adventures surrounding herself and her new husband. No longer a newlywed and expecting her first child, Nikki continues her telling her light-hearted stories at Cluelessme.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Category: Literary, Literature & Fiction

Comments (6)

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  1. 6
    Carol Wong says:

    I would definitely not like to know the date when I die! Since I am 64, I am interested in the experiences of the 86 year old person. Maybe Muriel should have been a separate book. There are very few fiction books about older women.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  2. 5
    Esme says:

    What a depressing thought knowing the exact date you are going to die. I often wonder if we knew when that day was coming would we do things differently.

  3. 4
    CluelessMe says:

    Mary:

    Sometimes it’s irritating when that happens. Sometimes, I’m happy when the books takes an unexpected twist or turn though. I guess it just depends on the the twist! LOL
    CluelessMe recently posted..Guest Post- CluelessMe Reviews Expiration Date

  4. 3

    It’s irritating how many times you think a book is going to take one route and ends up focusing on something so different in the story.

  5. 2
    CluelessMe says:

    Colleen:

    I know! I was truly disappointed. Granted…It was kind of funny to read about an 86-year-old’s dating adventures, but I was expecting something completely different.
    CluelessMe recently posted..Guest Post- CluelessMe Reviews Expiration Date

  6. 1
    Colleen Turner says:

    Aww…how disappointing! The premise is so unique and interesting that it is a shame it spends so much time off on other tracks than the premise of Flora knowing her death date and trying to change it. Thanks for the review!

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