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Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  5,229 Ratings  ·  1,028 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Bantam (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, women, travel
I really, really wanted to like this book. It had a great plot and premise. Annie Freeman dies of cancer, and before she dies she arranges a "traveling funeral" for her closest friends. She sends them airline tickets, rental car vouchers, and credit cards to take a journey around the country to places that gave her life meaning. In theory, it was a wonderful setting for a meaningful story about women's friendships and the journey of grief and life. I would give the idea three or four stars.

But t
Aug 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
The Beautiful Ms. Bonnie (my very old dog) felt compelled to review this book and warn all potential readers to avoid it! She borrowed the book from me, as I was reading it for my book club, and then she did me the splendid favor of throwing it in the trash. Bonnie said that I should not even donate it to a thrift store as it would be almost criminal to inflict this drivel on someone else.

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish LOOKED like it would be a funny and woman-empoweri
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Women who've experienced life
I started out with high hopes for this book, but it turned out a little anticlimactic for me. What a brilliant thought - a traveling funeral, sort of like the movie "Elizabethtown", but with 5 older female characters in the title role. But the author really litters the plot with flowery prose on the meaning of life and how people grieve for the dead in so many different ways, and that there's not a wrong way to do it.

By the end chapters, I sort of wanted to skip to the end because she'd said th
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Women and men who have women friends
When I finished this book I felt fulfilled, satisfied, contemplative and slightly giddy. Also, desireous of a traveling funeral (many years from now). While reading it, I laughed a lot, cried more than once, saw myself, my sisters and my friends in many of the traveling moments. The opening description of how a seemingly small incident (the disintegration of a favorite and dependable undergarment) can be the last straw was a hoot.
Nov 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
In my sophomore English class there was a girl named Pamela Salter who really didn't like to read, or analyze her reading, or something. When we had independent reading assignments, she would always pick the most insipid novels she possibly could find that met the page number requirements, and read those. It became a running joke, the teacher would ask what this month's "Pammy Book" was. Occasionally she would pick up something I had read, and I felt a sort of mortification, because man I hated ...more
Aug 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Rarely do I review a book but this one ticked me off so much I can hardly stand it!!!
I gave the book one star because I think the premise was great. The execution left much to be desired.
Here are a few of the troubling highlights.
Just because five women are grieving does not mean they all burst into tears simultaneously throughout their travels.
If five women are drinking together and someone buys them a round of drinks, (on two separate occasions) surely one of them is going to be curious enoug
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This book was just what I needed to give me a much needed lift.And it did, but there were a few problems. Annie Freeman, before she succumbed to cancer, set up her own funeral. She set up five of her friends with all they would need to mourn and celebrate her life all the while traveling the country.
Each of her selected friends came with their own emotional baggage. Annie knew this and set it up so that her friends would have some growing moments amid all the travel and festivities.
I loved the p
Jul 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
After slogging through the first 113 pages of this book, I decided to put myself out of my misery, and leave it unfinished for all time! I was thoroughly annoyed with the author's overwrought and repetitive writing style, and found myself in a near-catatonic state while reading many of the paragraphs. The characters, including Annie, seemed sketchy and too similar...and, I just didn't find them interesting, let alone care enough about them to find out how they interacted. I was immediately put o ...more
Andrea Guy
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've ever been so moved by a book. I realized going in that this was a book that you either love or you hate. I loved it. It is a book that really shows the power of friendship and the bonds that women share between one another. I adored each one of Annie's pallbearers on her traveling funeral.

Each woman was very different and yet through their common bond, their friendship with Annie, they all come to be great friends. Its quite likely that you'll discover a bit of yourself in one
Jan 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had to read this for a book club I was hosting a few years ago. Being a man (apparently the author thinks that this is a huge disadvantage), I knew that I would be a little out of my element, but I volunteered to head up said club and vowed to give every book an honest, earnest chance. That being said...I absolutely hated this book.
The vast majority of this novel is spent granting 'magical' status to anything and everything in the known universe. The male characters might as well be cardboard
Book Concierge
Jul 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Annie G Freeman knew she was dying (ovarian cancer), so she planned an unusual funeral. Her ashes were to be scattered over several sites that had importance in her life, and her “pallbearers” were to be several women she’d known and loved.

This is a pretty interesting premise and could have been a decent book. But Radish has given us cardboard characters, and over-written scenarios. I think a 7-year-old could determine the “important lessons” at each of the stops on the funeral route; but Radis
Apr 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm more than half way through this book, but I am giving up on it (which I don't do often). The concept is ok, and I like the progressive thinking, but the book is so overwritten and repetitive that I probably know what's going to happen, just like the omniscient Annie, who "knew" what would happen when she asked her best friends to travel together to scatter her ashes around the country. The story is a tear-jerker, but it's predictable and I am tired of being hit over the head again and again ...more
Oct 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookgroup
pure crap. didn't finish it.
May 19, 2007 rated it did not like it
By the end of this book, I was tired of reading about how wonderful Annie Freeman was. The story was just too sappy for me.
Oct 28, 2008 is currently reading it
I have to say, I'm disappointed with this book so far. The writing is so flowery (not the right word) that it gets in the way of a potentially great story.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it

I have never had such a difficult time trying to finish a book. This one took me a bloody month to read, and I managed to finish it just minutes before I went to my book discussion group. It required much patience and resulted in a lot of eye-rolling and exasperated sighs. I am not one to give up on a book; the fact that I nearly did so after every chapter but kept reading is a testament to, well, really just an insane level of resolve on my part, cos this was terrible.

I can easily read a book
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
If I had remembered that Kris Radish was the author of Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA, I never would have started reading this book -- because Searching for Paradise... was a book that I couldn't even enjoy while sitting on a beach. This one wasn't any better. I actually really like the idea of a traveling funeral to celebrate someone's life by spreading her ashes around the country in the places that meant something to her. Too bad that I HATE Kris Radish's writing style -- overly flowery ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I recognize I am not the target audience for Kris Radish’s Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral; however, I believe a good storyteller will overcome the scope of their material rather than continually remind you that you weren’t meant to pick up their book in the first place. All too quickly this approach made it difficult to both suspend disbelief at the endless string of coincidences and care about Annie Freeman when I clearly wouldn’t have been invited to the funeral. It’s a shame, I th ...more
Nov 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
The road to a bad novel is paved with good intentions. Nine times out of ten, when a novelist wants to do me good, or inspire me, or teach me, I end up hating the book. I won't rule out the possibility that I am just a nasty, negative person, but I will go out on a limb with this book and say it's not me, it's Kris Radish. This novel is bad.

The premise is cute: Annie Freeman, who dies of cancer, asks a group of her women friends to scatter her ashes in various American locales that held special
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
I LOVED this book! In fact I gave it as gifts to two of my closest friends last year, and told them that this was one of my favorite reads of the year.

The story is about loss, love, the power of women's friendships and living each moment we have here on earth. It's about making the sometimes tough choices that allow you to live an authentic life. It does it without getting to sweet, or too sad -- although there are sweet and SAD moments, they don't bog down the book.

Annie Freeman has died from
Feb 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
A truncated review:

I did not finish this book. While the premise is loaded with potential, the book waxes far too philosophical to be enjoyed (at least by me). The author's narration consistently interrupts and overshadows the action, and every moment in the book is supposedly filled with deep and life-changing meaning, which is obviously not possible. Moreover, the book is full of curse words, some of which are out-of-place and forced. Many sentences are repetitive ("She would have loved..."),
May 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Oh, dear, I just didn't like this one. I liked the idea of it just fine--that a group of women, some meeting each other for the first time, are honoring their dead friend by taking her ashes various places (not a spoiler since title & book blurbs tell you that)--but I thought it told more than it showed, and told us exactly how to feel about everything, preventing my feeling anything.

I think I just prefer a different kind of fiction.

Interestingly, my book group (all women) had a wonderful ti
Kimbra Vogel
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book. It will make you laugh and tear up all at the same time. Life is short, we all need to enjoy it to its fullest!!!
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I can sum up this book in two words: Carpe Diem.
The premise was intriguing: 5 women take the ashes of their recently deceased friend to various places across the US and scatter her remains. She has pre-arranged and prepaid for all the traveling and lodging arrangements, and trusts they will be able to figure out the best places to send her dusty bones. Except for the prolonged, tedious exploding bra incident, the author does a good job of describing the main characters and the potential is the
Book club selection for February, suggested by Becky.

I would give it 2.5 stars maybe, so struggled to decide whether to give it 2 or 3 stars. I think I'm going with 3 because I loved the overall concept, I thought it sounded really interesting and looked forward to the adventure. Sometimes it even brought tears to my eyes. But by about half way through the book, I was getting more than a little tired of the redundancy and the overly sentimental prose. I would have liked to see more anecdotal gli
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not even sure where to shelve this book. Chick- lit? Duds? I need a new shelf- meh.I really, really wanted to like this book. It had a great plot and premise. Annie Freeman dies of cancer, and before she dies she arranges a "traveling funeral" for her closest friends. None of whom knew each other, by the way.She sends them airline tickets, rental car vouchers, and credit cards to take a journey around the country to places that gave her life meaning. Sounds good doesn't it? It was "overwroug ...more
Feb 11, 2009 added it
The concept of a traveling funeral is fascinating! Especially as the pallbearers are women friends of the one that is being honored. I can't imagine spending 9 days with 4-5 other women I don't really know, but that we would in the beginning all have in common one dear friend.

Things I pocketed from the book include a roving funeral book for them to write their thoughts in; some of the feelings that are described in which I can relate with; I pondered on what I want to leave behind and what I wan
Sunkissd1 Base
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
The quote stating that Thelma & Louise should move over was a promise unkept. The author played it safe with the story when she really could've made it something spectacular. I am a Leukemia survivor and liked the overall idea about a dear friend passing and her planning a pre-paid traveling funeral for her friends, taking them to places she'd been and to discover secrets and answers to questions about her past. There's so much promise in that storyline.

I would love for someone to re-write
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Loved the premise: a group of women who mostly only know "of" each other because of a mutual friend, the titled Annie Freeman, get together in order to celebrate her life and receive closure by traveling to various parts of the country which had been important to the deceased. Annie was quite the woman, apparently, and she spent her dying days planning this all-expenses-paid traveling funeral for her closest friends. Should have been great, and ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book made me laugh and cry all while pondering how ironic life can be! It made me want to write a letter to all of my girlfriends - new and not-so-new - telling them all how much they mean to me. We are so lucky to be women...we can talk and share, laugh and act goofy and carry each other through the rough times. No wonder men are so dark and brooding - societ tells them to deal with all that on their own, not to share their 'feelings', as if that was somehow a weak thing to do! But women h ...more
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Kris started writing the moment she could hold a pencil. She grew up in Wisconsin, graduted from the University of Wisconsin with a journalism degree and hit the ground running. Her father calls her "the tornado". She worked as a newspaper reporter, bureau chief, nationally syndicated columnist, magazine writer, university lecturer, bartender, waitress, worm harvester, window name a f ...more
More about Kris Radish...

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“I think sometimes I think too damn much. I worry about this and that and everything else and then I wake up and four more years have slipped right out the back door.” 19 likes
“Death...does this to people. It slaps the living upside the head and it makes us ponder and exchange events and feelings that might stay hidden.” 6 likes
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