Reuniting in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living "funerals," celebrations to remind themselves life is worth living--and living well--five friends find their pact upended when one of them reveals a shocking secret.
While sentimental moments abound, there are plenty of funny surprises, too — the kind that happen among soulmates who know each other’s quirks and can finish each other’s sentences ... Some of the characters’ biographies seem undeveloped in parts ... Still, Rowley’s insertion of unforeseen bombshells... at just the right moments, and his gift for taking some of life’s most challenging roadblocks and turning them into opportunities for hope and genuine connection, more than make up for the holes.
This particular group’s lingua franca is quite tart... but over time it becomes clear how much they value each other, even when old secrets get revealed and dynamics shift. Rowley peppers biographical details evenly through the book, making it initially hard to get a good grasp on the friends’ individual personalities, though they come into better focus over time. Occasionally their dialogue and misadventures are downright hilarious.
Another winning story of a friend group held together by an unusual bond ... Rowley admirably avoids sentimentality along the way, and there’s plenty of fresh and witty dialogue. For anyone needing a reminder about the importance of friendships, this will more than do the trick.