Dead Ever After
By Charlaine Harris
I picked up the Sookie Stackhouse series years ago when it first started and have enjoyed it along the way, fourteen books in all. The dialogue was quick and action was fast, with a good deal of humor.
The main character, Sookie, is a small town waitress who happens to be a little different, she can hear people’s thoughts. Sookie has a joie de vivre even though she has had a hard time because of her ability. She calls herself disabled, other people call her crazy. She’s a fast talker, a little nervous and shy. Her parents are gone, her grandmother is her world, her brother isn’t someone she can rely on and she’s naïve about many things.
The stories have the comfortable trappings of old fashioned pride and care. Sookie is a Christian and she tries to live by that in the truest sense. Her grandmother taught her to keep a clean house, to be sensible, polite, kind, caring and modest. She takes care of the house, is concerned with repairs and plants vegetables in her backyard.
Sookie is looking for a new experience when she meets Bill, her first vampire. She gets quite a bit more than she bargained for. The first book, Dead Until Dark, is starts off pretty quickly with some violent action but Sookie is tough.
Sookie spends more time musing on her life in this book. The action scenes seem more subdued. Things are being wrapped up. It’s the end.
Relationship-wise, Sookie ends up with just who I always wanted her to. Those who didn’t want her to end up with him were sorely disappointed. I became aware that there was a great deal of controversy surrounding the book from the fans of the long running series. I saw various criticisms, suggestions that someone must have ghost written it because it sounded nothing like the original character. I disagree. When Sookie begins to narrate, I can hear her in my head and it is pitch perfect.
After reading the criticism, I wasn't sure that I wanted to read the book but now I'm glad I did. It’s a fun book and an end to the series. I think it did what it needed to, tied up loose ends and brought closure to the series. Sookie is a long way from where she started out. She’s tired and she’s ready to settle down. The heroine has returned from her journey.
Now, in Dead Ever After, Sookie is plain jaded and tired. She needs a new direction in life, and I think Charlaine Harris gives it to her by the end of the book. It is reminiscent of the end of the hero cycle. She has gone out into the world, had her adventures and now she is home again.
The book starts a dark note with the two men selling their souls to the devil in order to get at Sookie. Several of Sookie’s old enemies turn up, spoiling for revenge. Then, when Sookie arrives on the scene, it is with the grim reminder of how Sam had died in a horrible event and she brought him back to life, and how put out her vampire husband, Eric, is by that choice of how to use her one fairy wish.