Book: The Seven-Day Resurrection
Author: Chevron Ross
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery
Available at: Amazon.in
Recommended: Loved It
“Death was so arbitrary. … Sometimes death was sneaky.” What if resurrection occurs? Len grapples with this question in the fascinating novel, The Seven-Day Resurrection. Writer Chevron Ross builds on an interesting premise and entangles the reader in a series of questions from the start. What can explain the presence of Len’s mother in his house after her death? Is it imagination, an anomaly, a cosmic glitch, a psychiatric or physiological disorder, or senility?
Ross has entwined several themes in his book. Delicate nuances of the co-dependent relationship between a 70-year-old man and his 90-year-old mother are central. In crisscrossing timelines, the characters experience different time-lapses in the future and the past. Then, there are stories around the myriad characters – Olivia, the caretaker, Miranda, Len’s boss, Len’s siblings, Len’s teenage angst, aspirations as a writer, life as a loner, and insurance claims handler.
My favorite overarching theme is the nostalgia of the Depression-era and the World War. Ross brings out the imprints of the war on the life of simple people. He tells how the years of want and struggle made the people bitter, frugal, and eventually hoarders, of both things and memories. The conversations between Len and his mother make up a major part of the narrative. Another part is Len’s confusion about the happenings around him and recollections of his life.
An interesting writing technique is using snippets from Len’s writing drafts in the novel. When the first draft of The Farm Tree appears in the book, it is almost confusing. I paused to grasp how the dominant story and this narrative were connected. At a point, it seemed there were too many characters to track. However, I saw the connection. The strong, caring father figure of The Farm Tree and the incidents around bullying were easy to identify. They are reflections of Len’s yearnings since his teenage.
This book is well-researched and has impeccable writing. It is not a zippy read. It requires time and attention. This should in no way discourage a reader because the book does not weigh you down. It carefully builds on the characters, making them endearing and relatable. The writer sketches portraits of a world that is now a fast-disappearing memory, while also keeping it contemporary by referencing the pandemic. The mystery of the resurrection keeps you engaged till the end.