Everything seemed somehow peaceful, even though the day did not portend well for a number of reasons, an inevitable murder being one of them and a cleansing pillar of fire for the other.The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde, the seventh book in the Thursday Next series, is a delightful romp in an alternative reality. As with the previous books, I was only a few pages in before I found myself laughing out loud. This novel focuses less on the world of literature than the previous books and a little more on science fiction. New readers will have no clue what is going on; you really have to start with the first book in the Thursday Next series, The Eyre Affair. On the other hand, fans will have the satisfaction of seeing a number of plots from previous novels wrapped up.
Briefly, in the beginning of the book we learn that Swindon is destined to be smitted by God, and Friday, Thursday’s son, is destined to murder a young man. Thursday, of course, would like to prevent both of these things from happening. Her sixteen year old daughter, Tuesday, attempts to prevent the smiting, while also pursing young men and some interesting science projects. Thursday is rejected as head of the newly reactivated SO-27 and instead appointed as head of the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat-at-Fatso’s Drink Not Included Library. To complicate matters, Thursday occasionally finds herself in another body. Jenny’s existence continues to be cause for concern. And, of course, Goliath continues to be up to no good.
Besides having an enjoyable time reading The Woman Who Died A Lot, I continue to admire Jasper Fforde’s world building. This alternative history is so wonderfully quirky and yet the characters feel very real. I found The Woman Who Died A Lot easier to read than the previous books in the series because it contains fewer allusions to literature. Again, I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series.