This week’s Friday Read is Dead Ever After, the final novel in Charlie Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, which came out this week. Through their tears at saying goodbye to Sookie, Gillian and Jen have managed to give you a Friday Read…
My Friday Reads this week is Dead Ever After. If you read our blog (or follow my tweets) this is no real surprise. I’ve been waiting to read this book since . . . well, forever.
I’m happy to say that so far that Dead Ever After doesn’t disappoint. Every time I read a Sookie Stackhouse novel, it’s like catching up with old friends. I’ve been reading this book half afraid of getting to the ending. It’s hard to savour a book that I want to sit down and devour, but I’m trying. Because, this is Sookie’s final adventure, the last trip to Bon Temps and the gang is all here. So many characters from across the series have come back into Sookie’s life in this final book that I’m finding myself smiling and tearing up a bit as I turn the pages.
I don’t know how this is going to end. Frankly, I’m scared to get to the end. I might be in the minority, but I really don’t care who Sookie winds up with either. I’ve always been Team Eric, but over the past few books I’ve found I don’t care as much about the romance. I know, I know, I’m in the minority. I love the rich characters in this world. I love the mysteries. I love Sookie’s wit and wisdom. These have always been Sookie’s story and I don’t mind if she winds up with Eric, Bill or alone as long as at the end she stays true to who she is. To me, that’s the adventure I’ve been following.
Today our Friday Read is a celebratory one for Dead Ever After! It’s a strange moment to come to the end of such a successful, massively influential series. Charlaine Harris has become a household name, recognisable for her distinctive blend of vampires, Southern American setting, and supernatural creatures with compelling mysteries.
I read Dead Ever After about six months ago . . . and when we had finished copies of the book in the office, I sat down and read it again. And there are so many things in this novel which take my breath away. I love catching up with Sookie, it’s like having a long chat and catch up with a really good friend. It made me happy to come to the end of her story – however reluctantly as a reader – and feel that she reached the right moment for us to part ways. Weirdly (and without spoilers!) I’m happy that Sookie is going to be ok from now on. Maybe not a happily ever after but, for me, not far off.
But the thing that really struck me, rereading, is how much I like the messages that run through this book and through the entire series. Sookie’s is powerful, smart and capable of making her own decision. She’s also capable of accepting responsibility for her own mistakes. I love the fact that she has no tolerance for discrimination, for bullying or for rudeness. From the very beginning of this series through to the very end, she stands up for herself and for others. And when I put this novel down, a little heavy of heart, a little sad not to have another adventure to look forward to, it underlined something for me. I like and admire Sookie Stackhouse. I’ve loved being able to share her story. I love her voice and her warmth – and I look forward to the next story that this remarkable writer chooses to share with us.