Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Body

By Laurel Doud

A fantasy story about a middle-aged woman, Katherine, who dies of a heart attack only to wake up and find herself living in the body of a young drug addict who has overdosed and also died, Thisby.
Katherine had a pretty ordinary middle class life living with her husband and her two teen age kids. True, she had some problems, namely a growing distance between herself and her husband and her kids with the usual teen rebellion. But all together she didn't have much adversity to deal with.
The same could be said of young Thisby, a talented but troubled young photographer. Born into a upper middle class family, Thisby never wanted for anything. But something wasn't right because Thisby seemed destined for trouble. Her parents and brother were constantly disappointed in her as she failed time and again to straighten out her life. Seemingly chronically depressed, Thisby sought refuge in drugs and alcohol, resulting in her untimely death and the possession of her body by Katherine.
So Katherine wakes up to find herself on Thisby's bathroom floor, covered in vomit, were Thisby passed away from too much booze and drugs. Amazed and confused, Katherine tries to make sense of what has happened. Fortunately she has the good sense to keep the truth from everyone because revealing her situation  would only land her in the loony bin, a place where Thisby was pretty much headed any way. Katherine takes up the reins of Thisby's disordered life and tries to live as Thisby, only without her addictions. But it is very difficult as Thisby was a mess and had managed to alienate almost everyone who cared about her. Plus Katherine finds herself having to deal with the same destructive cravings that drove Thisby. Plus Katherine is longing to be reunited with her own family, to be loved again by her husband and to hold and cherish her two teen children. She even hires a private investigator to gather information about them.
She finds herself trying to juggle two families, Thisby's and her own, without either knowing the truth about herself and continuing to struggle with Thisby's addictions.

This was a pretty interesting story. Katherine does a good job of passing herself off as Thisby until almost the end of the story when she nearly ruins everything. Eventually she realizes that she is neither Thisby nor Katherine anymore and she has to stop living as if she were and make a life for the new person she has become.

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