EIGHT DAYS by Scott Thompson
“Clive Kinsella looked at his body in the coffin and thought
how much it reminded him of a stuffed bass.
He had several fish mounted on his walls back home,
and this must be his payback.”
Odd to be standing at your own funeral looking at your earthly remains. The last thing Clive remembered was being in his driveway packing his car for a trip. He was finally going to see all those places he had wanted to visit for years … thanks to the sudden heart attack that was not going to happen now. Or was it?
So starts the telling of Clive’s “reckoning”. When his beloved grandfather Pachu, who has been dead for many years, arrives Clive is surprised to be told that he would be revisiting pivotal times in his life to complete his “reckoning” – his reconciliation with decisions and actions before he enters Heaven. Although Clive knows he has lived a good life a quick mental rundown of possible “reckoning” moments does not fill him with joy. We all have painful and not-too-proud moments and Clive did not relish the thought of revisiting some of them. But his reward would be, after each reckoning, to travel to one of the places he had planned to visit. Everyone’s reckoning is different and Clive’s would last a total of eight days … would the reward be worth it? Clive had his doubts.
I do not often read spiritual books because whatever faith or belief system I, or anyone else, embraces is personal and I do not want to be sermonized in my reading. But occasionally, as in the case of “Eight Days”, the book description is too tempting to pass up. I was glad I gave in to this particular temptation. Yes, there were mentions of God, Heaven and Hell but they fit perfectly into the context of the story and I found them in no way personally offensive or "preachy" – after all – don’t we all at some moments in our lives call out to one, hope for the other and dread the third?
Mr. Thompson gave me a beautiful story of one man's life, a life that was filled with the trials, tribulations, angst, love, guilt and doubt we all experience. There were parts of Clive’s story that had me smiling knowingly and parts that made me laugh out loud. As we all do, Clive experienced sudden tragic events that surprised and shocked me and sad, tender moments that had me in tears. The last few pages of this book were very difficult to read as the words blurred in the eye-mistiness but when I came to the end I knew I had read an exceptionally lovely story. Occasionally it is nice to read a book that warms your heart and touches your emotions; a book that you can feel comfortable gifting or recommending to almost everyone.
My sincerest thanks to Pen Name Publishing and the author for making this book available to me at no charge in the hopes of an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from his Amazon page)
Scott Thompson was born in Georgia. His family moved almost every year of his young life, but still remained in the South where Thompson experienced the intelligent and eccentric people of the region who stoked his imagination and provided him with a lifetime of stories to tell. Thompson lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with his family. His writing can be read in regional magazines like Georgia Backroads and Southern Writers Magazine. Other writings can be read at GrandCentralReview.com, where Thompson is a founding editor. He is the winner of the Great American Novel contest in literature for 2010, and was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, first novel.