Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > A Cute Tombstone

A Cute Tombstone by Zarina Zabrisky
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really liked it

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I was offered a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest review, and to be completely honest, I was scared to read it. I always worry that it's going to be terrible and there I'll be, stuck having to pick it apart after being solicited for my opinion in the hopes of something positive. Regardless of what it may look like to some, I don't particularly relish the idea of giving negative reviews. I do so because I feel I must. First, in order to purge the frustration at finding something so utterly unreadable, and second, because I want to warn other readers who may fall into the trap of a bad book merely because the only reviews available are dishonestly glowing missives from well-meaning friends and relatives.

I'm rambling. The point is, I went into this story with not a little reluctance. It's a short story, as well, and this served as both a pro and a con; I don't really enjoy many short stories because of their lack of depth, but I figured if it was terrible, at least the pain wouldn't last long.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only did this story have depth, it wasn't terrible. It is, in fact, rather good. A moving send-off for a mother, a daughter's humorous, awkward, yet slightly heartbreaking return to her home country for a funeral she doesn't really want to attend (who ever wants to attend a funeral?). The picture Zabrisky paints of the burial processes in Russia is at once utterly foreign, yet remarkably familiar. She also managed to capture that slightly off-kilter, dazed feeling one experiences after the loss of someone close to them; those moments where you just want the ordeal to be over, but you can't see any end in sight, and even when you do, you wonder how you'll go on with your life after such an upheaval. How could things just go on as they were? How do we keep moving forward?

I was intrigued by her rather simplistic dialogue, not because it was bad, but because it was so remarkably stripped down as to be completely engrossing. The narrator never delves all that deeply into conversation with anyone else in the story, but through this resistance to delve you get a sense of the relationship (or lack thereof) between the speakers. There was a lot of irreverent humor, and I found myself chuckling in a rather morbid sense. I respect anyone who can make me laugh about something so completely sad.

Zarina Zabrisky is a talented writer with a flair for telling a moving tale with very little fanfare. Pared down to its base, A Cute Tombstone is a message of loss, remembrance, and love, written with heartfelt emotions in a refreshingly uncomplicated voice.
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Reading Progress

June 1, 2014 – Started Reading
June 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 16, 2014 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by BellaGBear (new) - added it

BellaGBear Where did you get it and do you think it is possible for me to get it as well? Kinda curious because the description reminds me of another book I read and found quite fascinating.

Melanie Page Hey, Bellagbear, you can buy A Cute Tombstone here/

message 3: by BellaGBear (new) - added it

BellaGBear thanks Melanie :) But I was hoping to get is for free.

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