On the night Odie May and her married lover are due to celebrate him leaving his wife, Odie goes out to buy a bottle of his favourite wine and, on her way home, is murdered by a woman in a lime green coat. But Odie’s story does not end there…
Next, she finds herself in a waiting room with a man who introduces himself as Carl Draper and who tells her he is her Initial Contact. He is carrying a clipboard and invites her into an interview room. Over the course of her interview, Carl guides Odie back through the years, asking her about the significant others in her life in a quest to work out what she’s done wrong, who might have murdered her and why.
As Odie comes to realise the truth about herself, the life she’s led and her death, she’s given a choice: Carl can put her back to the moment before she was murdered and prevent it from happening, but this comes at a price Odie doesn’t know if she can pay and, as she decides, she not only begins to understand what she has to do to become the person she should have been all along, but who is her most significant significant other.
***Thanks to NetGalley and Matador for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
not my cup of tea:
I couldn’t stand Odie, which is not a good sign considering she’s the title character. She spent the entire narrative pretending to take responsibility for her actions while doing everything possible to craft excuses and blame others. It’s like she knew what she was supposed to say, how she was supposed to feel, but the follow-through was shallow and ingenuine. I don’t believe Odie felt any genuine regret (or responsibility) for her actions. And that’s only further compounded by the fact that her trip down memory lane is interspersed with her checking out and hitting on this stranger in front of her. It seems unlikely that someone honestly taking stock of their life and their choices would also feel flirty.
While I wouldn’t have been surprised at any of the people in Odie’s life deciding to murder her – she is a horrible, horrible person who is truly terrible to the people around her – it was still easy to predict fairly early in the story who the culprit was. I kept waiting for a twist or a surprise because there was no way I had actually figured it out so early. But, nope. The narrative followed the roadmap in a perfectly straight line from beginning to end. And while it hinted at this big, bad secret, it was not worth the buildup.
You know you’re a terrible person if your death brings your family back together, healing decades of strife and drama.
Maybe The Significant Others of Odie May reminded me too much of Under the Whispering Door and paled in the comparison, but the emotions and characters lacked complexity. The weird choice at the end felt forced and disconnected from everything else going on in the story. The was no arc, redemption, or moral – which is very unbefitting considering the narrative.