For Katherine Givens and the four women about to become her best friends, the adventure begins with a UPS package. Inside is a pair of red sneakers filled with ashes and a note that will forever change their lives. Katherine's oldest and dearest friend, the irrepressible Annie Freeman, left one final request-a traveling funeral-and she wants the most important women in her life as "pallbearers." From Sonoma to Manhattan, Katherine, Laura, Rebecca, Jill, and Marie will carry Annie's ashes to the special places in her life. At every stop there's a surprise encounter and a small miracle waiting, and as they whoop it up across the country, attracting interest wherever they go, they share their deepest secrets-tales of broken hearts and second chances, missed opportunities and new beginnings. And as they grieve over what they've lost, they discover how much is still possible if only they can unravel the secret Annie left them....
Radish's latest overwrought book (after Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn) tracks five strangers- turned-soul mates over the course of the titular funeral, posthumously organized by their friend Annie, who died from ovarian cancer at age 56. A package arrives at Katherine Givens's front door and in it are the ashes of her free-spirited, altruistic childhood friend, along with instructions for a procession that will take Annie's closest friends on a cross country trip from Sonoma, Calif., to Manhattan, sprinkling her remains as they go. Just nine days later, Annie's former university colleague Jill, women's crisis savior Laura, cantankerous neighbor Rebecca and her hospice aide Marie join Katherine on the journey during which they learn their eccentric friend's deepest secrets and share many of their own. Most importantly, these unorthodox urnbearers understand the greatness Annie saw in them and attain the courage to act on it. Windswept melodrama marks Radish's prose (e.g. "these moments were the ones Marie needed to keep the tears and gashes in her own soul from washing her out to sea"), but that will not deter readers who relish the idea of women forming bonds when their mettle is tested and finding power and self-actualization in grief, sharing and love. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Best Friendship Book I've Ever Read!
Posted April 20, 2011 by jldibello , Howell, MIThis is a must read for all women! It shows what friendship is all about! I loved it, couldn't put it down. When I finished it, I gave it to everyone I know so that they could read it! Ladies, READ THIS BOOK!!
January 30, 2006
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Excerpt from Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
There is a hole the size of a golf ball in the right side of Katherine Givins's black Bali bra.
This is the one article of clothing that has made her feel sexy for the past 3.6 years in a row, and even though the straps lie at half-mast on her fine shoulders, the elastic exploded last summer and the hooks have been pulled so many times she has actually used a needle-nose pliers on them, Katherine cannot bear to throw the bra away.
"Shit," she says, turning into the mirror and then leaning so her nose practically touches the glass to make certain there really is a hole. It's there, and getting wider every second, as she puts her finger in the middle and realizes that one wrong move could explode all of the seams and send her breasts into orbit.
Just as she grabs them and begins laughing hysterically at the long-held notion that the bra, like her lost marriage and her fabulous mother and the man she thought she loved two men ago or even the one she loves now, would last forever, the doorbell rings and makes her scream herself back into reality.
Her scream, the kind you might make when something normal"like a doorbell"flushes you from a very far-away place-reaches the UPS woman on the front step who is glad as hell that someone is home so she doesn't have to leave a note and come back the next day. In the UPS world, screams, especially those coming from anywhere in front of the brown trucks and not under the rear wheels, are very good signs. So the UPS woman waits.