Stuff & Nonsense: No Dress Rehearsal


07 June 2013

No Dress Rehearsal


Lizzie is a bit disappointed with her life. Her flat is a tip. Her boyfriend of two years won't make the big commitment. Her mother doesn't understand her. Her father barely speaks to her. And then she gets in an accident cycling home from work and her life changes. Drastically.

She left the driver to his silent mouthing and got on her bike. By some miracle it was undented. And away she cycled. Leaving her still and bloody body lying beneath the car wheels.

As she wobbled off, she almost bumped into someone. A tall, pale figure in a long, black, hooded cape. He nodded at her in a friendly way. But she hardly noticed.

Of the three Gemma Media Open Door Series' low-literacy novellas I've read so far, No Dress Rehearsals seems to be the most well-crafted as it feels complete in itself. The characters are well developed for such a short work and the story is consistently compelling. Indeed, if this is how Marian Keyes does short fiction, then I need to read more of it.

I must admit I find No Dress Rehearsal's version of the afterlife extremely nice:

Something rushed through her, then the last of Lizzie was speeding away like a genie spinning back into the bottle. Yet she sparkled through everything in a tingle of glitter. Reforming and reconnecting. Into every drop of rain, every blade of grass, every word spoken.

Blissful, happy, ever-present nothingness. White-out.

No Dress Rehearsal by Marian Keyes (Gemma Media, 2009)

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