Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman

A future, far too easy to imagine, Here Lies, is a poignant insight into a future Louisiana ravaged by climate change where even the dead can’t lie in peace.

The effects of climate change have necessitated the closure of graveyard burials and mandated cremations. After the death of her mother, Alma is haunted by her failure to fufill her mother’s last wish to be buried in her own backyard.

Driven by the desire to reclaim her mother’s ashes, Alma begins a journey of unburial and with the help of a mysterious stranger and a group of local women, learns the meaning of family and strength.

What I liked: The concept of a future torn devastated by the consequences of global warming facing the reality of life and death.

The language was beautiful and prosiac. It flowed beautifully and carried me through the novel – it if wasn’t so beautifully formed, I don’t think I could have finished this story.

What I didn’t like: The storyline felt incomplete and the concept that drew me to the novel, never really eventuated – it wasn’t really fleshed out and the ‘no burials’ seemed like the only real consequence of climate change – there were no other indicators of a true problem.

Conclusion: This feels like the kind of book that might hit more successfully on a re-read. I have been unwell with COVID and perhaps didn’t have the focus to truly appreciate this book.

I struggled to connect with Alma, her character felt entirely one-dimensional, focused completely on her mission without any development as a person.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

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