Departed: A Dead Man Does Tell Tales by R. R. Washburn

WashburnDepartedNarrator: S. W. Salzman

Publisher: Citygrit Press (2015)

Length: 1 hour 28 minutes

Author’s Page

In 1684, Windbridge, CT, Albert Spijker and his 11 year old sister Joanna find a dead man in a nearby field. Before they can bury him, he comes back to life. While that is indeed a strange thing, the kids invite him home anyway.

Told from the dead man’s point of view, we learn about his new life, and a little about his old one. Eventually, Joanna names him Vincent after a cat a cousin once had. The parents, Willem and Katherine, are a bit suspicious of Vincent at first. Eventually it becomes apparent that Vincent is a gentle person.

In this languid tale, Vincent is the intriguing star. I was caught up in his character wanting to know more about his past, how he came to be hung, why he came back to life, and what the future had in store for him. Vincent has an empathic connection with those people around him. At first, it is rather disconcerting for the man but eventually, he gets it under control.

It’s a time of witch hunts and hangings in Connecticut. So the Spijkers are rather closed mouth about where they found Vincent and in what state he was in. Years later, Vincent is the family’s farm hand and Joanna’s protector. Hangings still occur. Vincent isn’t aging and this is starting to be noted by folks outside the Spijker family.

While the pace is rather slow in this story, and one could argue that not much happens, I still found something charming in this tale. I put it down to Vincent and all the mystery that surrounds him.

I won a copy of this book.

Narration: S. W. Salzman makes a good Vincent. He was really good at imbuing certain scenes with emotion, especially those focusing on Vincent and his struggles.

What I Liked: Vincent makes a very interesting character; the setting; witch hunts & hangings; Vincent is named after a cat; the Spijker family.

What I Disliked: Nothing – it’s an interesting little story.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!