Having always been a fan of any book that is journal style, rather than narrative, it is not surprising that I enjoyed Thomas Rayfiel’s Time Among the Dead.
William, an elderly and dying English earl is given a journal by his grandson and what transpires is a truly fascinating tale. The journal allows for William to delve deep into his past while at the same time recalling and reliving tidbits he should have faced long ago. The journal holds almost every occurrence in William’s life, yet the pages are not filled with random, mundane details. The story continues with each entry.
At times, the places in the past that William was recalling were far removed from the story. This resulted in the need to flip back some pages to remember what was going on and was somewhat frustrating. While it was nice to see William peel back the events in his life that shaped him, it was a bit wearisome to try to determine who or what William was referring to.
The character development is minimal, yet it does not feel unfinished or boring. Rayfiel makes all the characters, with the exception of William, a bit scarce so that the important back story can unfold.
[amazonify]1579622011[/amazonify]William is aware of his impending death and walks the reader through not only his past, but also the present and the future. There are several points in the book where he directly addresses the reader while doling out life advice. The book is never preachy; William instead uses mistakes and moments from his own life in order to make his advice clear.
Thomas Rayfiel’s quick novel has a lasting effect and is a great read for anyone who wants to peer into history and someone else’s life/experiences, while at the same time learning a bit about themselves.
In addition to working on her own personal writing, editing Messy Magazine, and writing for multiple sites, Lauren is also currently pursuing her MFA in English. More of her work can be found at goldiesays.wordpress.com.
This book was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.