Every October


Zoey Harris is not prepared to go quietly into that dark night.  Every October since her untimely death, she visits her daughter Amy who can sense her presence. However, time is running out for the reluctant spirit and she has been given an ultimatum by the spirit world: move on.  She must reconcile herself to her own demise by the end of Halloween night. She is given the ability to communicate with her family and must wrap up her emotional business or be trapped between worlds forever.  Moving on is so much harder than she ever could have predicted.

Ms. Lane is to be commended for her creative and original perspective — writing a story that deals with death and mourning.  However, Zoey is self-centered, lacks empathy and is incapable of putting other’s needs ahead of her own.  She sexually invades her husband Caleb’s psyche in what amounts to a rape scene.  “Every October” attempts to be witty and humorous, but frankly, Zoey is such an unpleasant character that any attempts at wit and humor fall like stones.  After nearly killing her brother-in-law, she becomes annoyed with him for being angry with her.  The secondary characters are so one-dimensionally good or bad that the reader feels no emotional attachment to them.  The story lacks focus and continuity and is difficult to read.  However, as a writer, Ms. Lane has talent.  With the right story, the reader can look forward to reading more from this author.

Gwenellen Tarbet